2017 Partners of the Year & Top Travel Agents Recognized at Annual AAA Travel Conference

Travel experts focus on accelerating growth

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (November 3, 2017) – AAA Travel, one of the largest leisure travel agencies in North America, hosted its annual conference Oct. 22-24 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Focused on the theme “Accelerating Growth,” the event featured world-renowned speakers from across the travel industry, including The Travel Corp. CEO Brett Tollman, PhoCusWright Senior Vice President Douglas Quinby and Project: Time Off Chief of Research and Strategy Katie Denis. Delegates from AAA/CAA clubs, travel suppliers and international Global Mobility Alliance affiliates attended the event to network and share best practices and opportunities to grow AAA Travel’s position in the industry.

“AAA has the best products and experiences available to our nearly 58 million members and a tremendous opportunity to deliver world-class service,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing. “Our growth has been good, and we need to accelerate that pace. Succeeding requires continuous focus on increasing the quality of our efforts, looking for new and innovative opportunities to increase sales and a firm belief in the underlying assumption that growth is important and possible.”

During the conference, AAA presented leading travel industry suppliers with prestigious Partner of the Year awards in 14 categories. These highly coveted awards recognize the partners’ commitment to providing AAA travel agents and members with exemplary travel services in their respective product categories, and for marketing, member service and travel agency support. Additionally, two of AAA’s top-performing agents, Kelly Brock and Henry Dennis of AAA Carolinas, were honored with Travel Agent Superlative Awards.

“We are proud to present AAA Travel’s Partner of the Year Awards to some of the best companies in the travel industry. Our members benefit from these strong partnerships and our shared commitment to providing world-class service and amazing vacation experiences,” continued Sutherland. “We are also honored to recognize our two top travel agents with 2017 Superlative Awards, based not only on their remarkable sales levels, but more importantly, their steadfast commitment to our members.”

2017 Partner of the Year Awards

(Photos available upon request)

Ocean Cruise Partner of the Year:
Holland America Line

River Cruise Partner of the Year:

Escorted Tour Partner of the Year:

Independent Tour Partner of the Year:
Pleasant Holidays

Lodging Partner of the Year:
Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Best in Marketing:
Cruise:                  Royal Caribbean International
Tour:                     Rocky Mountaineer
Lodging:               Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Best in Member Service:
Cruise:                 AmaWaterways
Tour:                     Insight Vacations
Lodging:               Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Best in Travel Agency Support:
Cruise:                  Royal Caribbean International
Tour:                     Trafalgar
Lodging:               Best Western Hotels & Resorts


2017 Travel Agent Superlative Awards

Kelly Brock, AAA Carolinas

Highest Sales, Highest Revenue and Highest Preferred Cruise Sales

Kelly Brock is a 30-year veteran of the travel industry, having served the last 17 years at AAA Carolinas in Bluffton, South Carolina. This is her fourth time being honored as a Superlative Award winner. Her extensive travel experience has taken her to exotic destinations around the world, as well as many European countries, Caribbean islands, and all throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Her passion lies in adventure travel, river cruising and luxury travel.

Henry Dennis, AAA Carolinas

Highest Preferred Tour Sales

Henry Dennis, also a four-time Superlative Award winner, has more than 30 years’ experience in the travel industry. He is a Certified Travel Counselor and Accredited Cruise Counselor. He also holds multiple Destination Specialist and Lifestyle Specialists accreditations, as well as numerous supplier and destination certifications. Dennis is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he has served AAA Carolinas’ members for more than 20 years.

The Partner of the Year Award selection process included surveys and evaluations from the association’s club travel agency executives. Superlative Awards are based on agents’ leisure travel productivity and leisure group sales from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. Thousands of agents were eligible for the awards, and AAA clubs nominated their top achievers.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides nearly 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone and Android. Learn more at AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at