Individuals Placing A Mark On The Travel Industry

From cruise directors of the world’s smallest ships to concierges of the world’s biggest hotels, the unsung heroes of the travel industry are finally having their day in the sun.

Here are five up-and-coming stars in the travel industry, all of whom are living proof of the power of hard work and innovation to keep the industry thriving.

1. Alicia Cummings, Paul Gauguin Cruises

5 Rising Stars In Travel - Alicia CummingsAlicia Cummings is the Vice President of Marketing for the award-winning small cruise line, Paul Gauguin Cruises. Recently named Most Innovative Executives at the 2016 Travvy Awards, CEO Gaugin and President Diane Moore have Cummings to thank for their recent onslaught of awards and accolades. After all, just like with the Academy Awards, half the battle of winning travel awards is getting your name out there with strategic, effective marketing. With Paul Gauguin receiving recent accolades from Conde Nest Traveler, Travel+Leisure, and more, Cummings deserves credit for her part in keeping this small-but-mighty cruise line relevant. 

2. Susanne Carter, Ritz-Carlton Central Park

5 Rising Stars In Travel - Susanne CarterVoted the #1 large hotel in the United States by the 2015 Travel+Leisure awards, New York City’s Ritz Carlton Central Park is only as stunning as its dedicated staff. Susanne Carter serves as the Chef Concierge for this world-renowned hotel which is a destination in and of itself. Carter has risen through the ranks in the travel industry, training in Hotel Management in Europe before becoming a concierge in New York. It is thanks to Carter’s innovation and excellence that the hotel has maintained its relevance and award-winning reputation, boasting a score of 94.73 out of 100 on Travel+Leisure’s World’s Best Hotels list. 

3. Nathan Hickman, Norwegian Cruise Lines

5 Rising Stars In Travel- Nathan HickmanJust 15 months after being appointed Vice President of national accounts and field sales for Norwegian Cruise Lines, Nathan Hickman has been awarded the prestigious “Rising Star” honor at the 2016 Travvy Awards. Hickman joined Norwegian after 12 years at Oceania Cruises, which was recently bought by Prestige Cruises International. His inside sales experience and innovative sales programming make him one to watch in the cruise industry. 

4. Lorna Margrin Woodruff, Air Tahiti Nui

5 Rising Stars In Travel - Lorna WoodruffLorna Margrin Woodruff represents the growing need for excellence in all areas of a travel company’s operations – not just at the executive level. As a call center representative for the award-winning airline, Woodruff is a multi-lingual travel industry expert who brings 15 years of experience to the table. Because of highly professional, crackerjack customer service reps like Woodruff, Air Tahiti Nui received the 2016 Travvy Award for Best Foreign Airline. 

5. Whitney Norman, Sun Lover Travel

5 Rising Stars In Travel - Whitney NormanTravel agent and Sun Lover Travel company owner Whitney Norman specializes in destination weddings to the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean. Norman’s success as a honeymoon and wedding specialist demonstrates the power of focusing on one niche area of travel. Not only does Norman specialize in tropical destinations; she frequently travels to the majority of the destinations she recommends. This allows her to make personal recommendations to her clients and maintain strong relationships with international vendors. In addition to being awarded a 2016 Rising Star Travvy Award, Norman received a 2014 Sandals STAR Award and is a certified Sandals and Beaches Specialist. Visit the Sun Lover Travel website


The top carriers, contractors, and companies in the travel industry aren’t just successful because of their executives and CEOs. These rising stars prove that the future of the industry is in the hands of our most innovative, dedicated, up-and-coming travel industry professionals.

Rebekah Voss is a freelance writer obsessed with travel and technology. She is the founder of The Happy Passport and Editor in Chief at