Norwegian passenger and freight line Hurtigruten, sometimes referred to as Norwegian Coastal Express in English, was chosen Travel Marketer of The Year 2009 at the HSMAI Chapter Norway Awards in the Oslo Congress Centre on Thursday 14 January.
There were a number of prize winners in totally twelve categories, among whom several received honourable mentioning, during the festive Oslo evening.
Charming yet professional
The jurors emphasised Hurtigruten’s “[…] ability to communicate in a charming, yet highly professional way, with marketing measures deeply rooted in the company’s philosophy,” with which, obviously, they have succeeded, given the company’s impressive turnaround, from considerable 2008 losses to a healthy 2009 profit.
“We have an extremely tough year behind us,” said a grateful Hurtigruten CEO Olav Fjell, adding “so you can imagine how pleased I am that we’ve managed to turn the ship around.”
“Only one year ago we had one foot in the probate and bankruptcy court, and I’m immensely proud of this achievement. At an opportunity like this I find it only timely to send my heartfelt thanks to our some 2000 employees, who’ve managed to push in the right direction, in spite of the hardships,” Mr. Fjell said.
Ingunn Hofseth, president and CEO of HSMAI Chapter Norway and HSMAI Europe, expressed her contentment with the award, too:
“I’m extremely pleased to see Hurtigruten win the prestigious award,” she said, “Especially taking their recent challenges into consideration. Also, I expect that a recognition from peers is particularly welcome,” Ms Hofseth added.
“We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the number of contributed works this year, and I have to say that I find the standards especially rewarding.”
A sample of Hurtigruten’s overseas efforts can be seen in this U.S. TV commercial:
And a few pictures, just to capture the feel of it all:
Lise Karlsnes, lead vocal of popular Norwegian group Briskeby. Photographers: Catharina Wandrup/Knut Joner
Comedian and master of ceremonies Ørjan Burøe gave the audience a good laugh on several occasions. Photographers: Catharina Wandrup/Knut Joner
And of course: Lots of mingling! Photographers: Catharina Wandrup/Knut Joner
The HSMAI Chapter Norway Awards followed a daytime agenda on the HSMAI Meeting Exchange, taking place at the Reiseliv B2B Fair at Lillestrøm, on the outskirts of Oslo, where travel and hospitality purchasers were given a unique opportunity to meet up with some 100 vendors from a wide range of agencies and suppliers.
The HSMAI Meeting Exchange is an annual occurrence, based on the speed-dating principle, offering buyers a chance to book meetings with the industry’s leading participants.
Top photo: A happy brand and marketing manager Christian Bue Nordahl (left) and CEO Olav Fjell (centre) of Hurtigruten ASA with co-workers at the HSMAI Chapter Norway Awards. Photographers: Catharina Wandrup/Knut Joner