Alabama World Travel’s team of 13 employees possesses over 150 combined years of personal travel and travel planning experience. Their passion for travel and a commitment to excellence are eclipsed only by their genuine care for people. They see AWT as more than a business; it’s a place they get to exceed the expectations of each and every client, turning their dreams into reality by designing the most incredible travel experiences around the world that create lifetime memories. AWT is also a “family” where everyone looks forward to coming to work every day, engaging with each other professionally and personally.
Many have contributed to the success and longevity of AWT, beginning with Jim Sadie, who purchased the business in 1975. Sadie was a family man with strong sales skills, committed to God-honoring values of doing what’s right all the time, giving above-and-beyond service, and always promoting a ‘PMA’ – Positive Mental Attitude,” said Liz Sutton, President of Alabama World Travel and daughter of Sadie. “We are blessed with a dedicated team of travel advisors who take time to get to know our clients, their travel dreams of today and beyond, and their personal preferences, so that we can match people to the right experience, working only with reputable travel partners to fulfill their dreams. In addition, we are blessed with our wonderful River Region community that has enthusiastically supported and recommended AWT: our mayors, the Chamber of Commerce, news reporters, local banks, including Regions since our inception, all of our service providers, our leading travel network Virtuoso®, other travel partners around the world, and, of course, our beloved clients!”
Alabama World Travel was founded in 1971 and began as many travel agencies did 40 and 50 years ago, processing airline tickets, booking tours, hotels, and cruises, and sometimes escorting groups. When Bill and Liz Sutton bought AWT in 1988, they had visions of their own to build upon Sadie’s strong foundation. They were committed to staying relevant in the travel industry, keeping up with travel trends, and leading the way in Montgomery. Over the years, AWT has created Cruise Concepts, Vacation Concepts, Incentive Concepts, and in 2000, Sutton & Associates (S&A). S&A is a successful, national corporate incentive travel planning and management division born from a need for companies to motivate, recognize, and reward their top performers and best clients. From 1975, Liz Sutton’s mother Edna Sadie has had a quiet yet very influential presence in the Company, and today she contributes as Sutton’s personal assistant. The tight-knit Sadie family of eight brothers and sisters also has made significant contributions over the years. In 2011, Sutton’s sister Jennifer Booth took on management of the leisure travel agency side of the business, as Vice President Bill Sutton began transitioning from day-to-day operations to more of an advisory role. AWT is proud to recognize Amy Daniel in May of this year for her 20 years of enthusiastic dedication, sales achievements and leadership!
Another major contributor to AWT’s success has been its 9-year membership in Virtuoso®, the leading international network of luxury travel agencies. Less than one percent of travel agencies are admitted into the exclusive network, which leverages its annual sales of more than $15.5 billion to negotiate special upgrades, rare opportunities, privileges and value-added benefits only for the clients of its member agencies. Beyond the monetary value, Alabama World Travel’s membership in Virtuoso gives its advisors direct relationships with the world’s finest hotels, resorts, spas, cruise lines and tour operators, as well as expanded insider knowledge and insights into the industry’s hottest trends and destinations. As a result, clients of Virtuoso travel agencies experience VIP treatment wherever they venture.
AWT celebrated its 45 Year Anniversary on Tuesday, January 31st, with an Open House at its location on Taylor Road. Long-time clients and friends, former employees, travel partners from near and far, and service partners in the community came and enjoyed a grand reunion!
Mayor Todd Strange honored Sutton with a City Proclamation making the date “Liz Sutton Day,” recognizing her dedication to the community and City of Montgomery, numerous awards, accomplishments, and leadership, many contributions to the travel industry, ending with a commendation for “her genuine care and commitment to enrich the lives of others whether through travel, encouragement, connection to resources or providing a vision to reach goals.”
The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce led a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the day, and presentations were made by Regions Bank and Virtuoso for AWT’s celebration of 45 years of service.
All in attendance were honored guests and received commemorative favors. Drawings were held for a deluxe stay at The Wort Hotel in Jackson Hole and at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, a generous Maui Jim gift basket, a bespoke Crystal Cruises bath kimono, and the exquisite services of Montgomery’s own Touch of Class Limousine service. Band members from Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School entertained guests with a number of classical arrangements.
Travel agencies like Alabama World Travel are thriving, as consumers realize that there’s no substitute for collaborating with an experienced travel advisor. A professional travel advisor provides advice, access, advocacy, and a trusted relationship, which can’t be replicated online. Fueling this trend are extremely high levels of consumer satisfaction with travel advisors. The American Society of Travel Agents says 92 percent of people who partner with a travel advisor plan to do so again.
For more information about Alabama World Travel, including how its advisors can help travelers plan your next journey, call 334-279-8720 or visit awtinc.com.