Thursday 29 September 2016

Ireland's top travel agents announced as January bookings soar

ITAA Travel Awards

Published 22/01/2016 | 11:36

Fahy Choice Worldwide staff members receiving their award for Travel Agency of the Year 2016. Left to Right are Tara Magee, British Airways; Maura Fahy, Caroline O’Toole and Clodagh Connolly of Fahy Travel; Martin Skelly, President ITAA.

Cassidy Travel and Fahy Travel Worldchoice were crowned ITAA Travel Agencies of the Year at the Irish Travel Industry Awards last night.

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A lively and upbeat crowd at the Irish Travel Agents' Association's (ITAA) annual awards, hosted by RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan at the Mansion House in Dublin, was buoyed by news of "unprecedented" January bookings.

“Some ITAA members have seen a sales increase of 40pc so far this month, compared with last year’s figures," said Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA.

"Many agents are reporting their best sales in seven years."

Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra and Irish Independent contributor, received the ‘Special Contribution to the Irish Travel Industry Award’.

Atlas Travel Group won Best Corporate Travel Agency, while Clickandgo.com took the gong for Most Innovative Marketing Campaign for its €1 deposit offer, the only one of its kind in the travel industry in Ireland.

The full list of ITAA award winners:

  • Travel Agency of the Year (<10 employees): Fahy Travel Worldchoice
  • Travel Agency of the Year (>10 employees): Cassidy Travel
  • Contribution to the Travel Industry: Eoghan Corry
  • Best Corporate Travel Professional: Karen Gleeson, FCm Travel Solutions
  • Best  Leisure Travel Professional: Liz Wright – Tour America
  • Most Innovative Member Marketing Campaign: ClickandGo.com
  • Best Corporate Travel Agency: Atlas Travel Group

The gala event, held on the eve of Holiday World at the RDS (Jan. 22-24), also saw travel agents vote on a host of suppliers' awards.

The full list of suppliers' awards:

  • Best Airline to Europe: Aer Lingus
  • Best Business Class Airline to Europe: British Airways
  • Best Airline to North America: Aer Lingus
  • Best Long Haul Airline: Emirates
  • Best European Sun Tour Operator: Sunway
  • Best Escorted Tour Operator: Insight Vacations
  • Best Specialist Tour Operator: The Travel Corporation
  • Best Ski Tour Operator: Crystal Holidays
  • Best Long Haul Operator: Classic Resorts
  • Best General Cruise Company: Royal Caribbean International
  • Best Ultra Luxury Cruise Company: Silversea Cruises
  • Best Specialist Cruise Company: Uniworld
  • Best Ferry Company: Irish Ferries
  • Best Technology Provider: Amadeus
  • Best Car Hire Company: Hertz
  • Best Travel Insurance Provider: Blue Insurance
  • Best Tourist Board: Spanish Tourist Board
  • Best Supplier Support Team: MSC Cruises
  • Best Accommodation-Only Provider: Bookabed
  • Best Supplier Representative: Rebecca Kelly - MSC Cruises
  • Best Worldwide City Destination: New York
  • Best European City Destination: Barcelona
  • Best Ski Destination: Austria
  • Best Summer Sun Destination: Spain
  • Best Winter Sun Destination: Lanzarote
  • Best Worldwide Theme Park: Universal Orlando Resort
  • Best Worldwide Hotel Chain: Hilton

Speaking at the awards, Martin Skelly, ITAA President, said:

“Following a challenging few years, the outlook for Ireland's travel trade is improving and this is down to the talented individuals working in our industry who have adapted to the market change and developed their roles.

"Already, 2016 looks set to be a great year for the Irish travel industry.”

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