SOURCE: Association of Travel Marketing Executives

June 21, 2006 12:09 ET

Association of Travel Marketing Executives Announces Recipients of 26th Annual ATLAS Awards

Leading Industry Executive Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 21, 2006 -- The Association of Travel Marketing Executives (ATME) recognized some of the most progressive companies in travel and marketing and awarded its Lifetime Achievement Award during the 26th annual ATLAS Awards. The ceremony, sponsored by Discover Network, was held during the 2006 ATME Annual Conference on May 22-24 in Las Vegas.

The ATME Atlas Awards were first awarded in 1980 to honor leaders and innovators within the travel industry who have displayed breakthrough thinking and leadership in marketing. Categories recognize executives and companies for innovative tactics, results-oriented programs and broad marketing vision.

ATME presented the ATLAS Lifetime Achievement Award to David Neeleman, Founder and CEO of JetBlue Airways. This prestigious award is presented to individuals who consistently distinguish themselves as marketing leaders and have advanced the travel industry worldwide.

Mr. Neeleman was recognized for his innovative career that included the creation of Morris Air and JetBlue Airways, a forward thinking company that has established itself as an industry innovator since its launch in 2000. Built on a low-cost carrier platform and distinguishing itself with top of the line, in-flight entertainment options, JetBlue Airways has become one of the travel industries most successful and recognizable brands.

"In a time when the travel industry has never been more competitive, we have seen JetBlue successfully entrench itself as a leading airline nationwide through the introduction of innovative marketing and customer-centric programs," said Joel Chusid, newly elected ATME chairman. "We are honored to present David Neeleman the ATLAS Lifetime Achievement Award to honor his passion and dedication to the development of a travel brand that has enriched the travel industry as a whole."

During this year's ATLAS Awards ceremony, ATME also honored Gary Sain; ATME's immediate past chairman, with an award for Inspired & Passionate Leadership, recognizing the passion and commitment he has shown throughout his five year tenure leading the organization.

In addition to the ATLAS Lifetime Achievement Award, ATME also announced the following awards for 2006.

--  Inspiration Award - New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau - For its
    dedication to reactivating the tourism and meetings & conventions markets
    in New Orleans.
--  Innovation Award (Presented by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors
    Authority) - W Hotels Worldwide - For being the first major hotel chain to
    use design as the most important element of product differentiation
--  Best Branding: Domestic Destination - Visit Florida - For its
    marketing communications which created a distinction in the marketplace and
    reinforced Florida as the vacation capital of the world
--  Best Branding: Cruise Line - Royal Caribbean International - For its
    "Get Out There" campaign which brought a younger, more active customer to
    cruising and helped to redefine what cruising is today
--  Best Branding: International Destination - Tourism Ireland - For its
    "Discover Ireland" ad campaign
--  Best Branding Strategy - Air Canada - For its campaign to rebrand
    itself as a "loyalty" carrier
--  Best Branding: Airline - Continental Airlines - For its BusinessFirst
    product first introduced in 1998
--  Best Online Community - - For its large source of
    information online and high degree of engagement within the online travel
--  Best Branding: Hotel - Hyatt Hotels & Resort - For its global
    marketing campaign targeted at business and leisure travelers
--  Best Online Strategy - Travelzoo - For its impressive business formula
    reaching 10 million subscribers
--  Best One-to-One Marketing - Virtuoso - For its enviable reputation for
    customer marketing, care and service within the affluent traveler, luxury
--  Best Overall Branding - Disney Parks and Resorts - For its brand
    quality standards with such initiatives as the Magical Gatherings program
    as well as its continual commitment in supporting the travel trade
About ATME

The Association of Travel Marketing Executives (ATME) is a professional association of 700 + senior-level executives with vital responsibilities in the marketing of travel and tourism worldwide. ATME's members represent airlines, hotels, online marketers, resorts, cruise lines, car rental companies, advertising and public relations firms, travel marketing professionals, research groups and tourist offices of domestic and foreign destinations. ATME is a global network of travel industry marketing professionals committed to enhancing skills, recognizing excellence, and providing innovative, effective and provocative marketing ideas and solutions while enhancing the highest standards of travel leadership.

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    Kristin Zern
    Association of Travel Marketing Executives
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    Chree Carr
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