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Travel firm that's bucking recession trends scoops a top business award

In a time of doom and gloom in the travel industry, one forward-thinking company has bucked the trend -- boosting passenger numbers and now winning a top award in the process.

Tour America, regarded by many as Ireland's most dynamic travel company, has just won the Best Managed Company award for 2010.

The Deloitte's Best Managed Companies award programme, in association with Bank Of Ireland Scotland, has been developed to recognise Irish companies on the island of Ireland, operating at the highest level of business performance.

Tour America was the only firm in the travel industry to make this year's finals, held at the Burlington Hotel, with Taoiseach Brian Cowen on hand to watch the best in business in action.

The Deloitte programme seeks to identify best-managed companies through an evaluation process that is not just about financial results, but about corporate excellence.


Tour America was also given the overall award for its outstanding proposal by the Irish Management Institute, which includes an MBA Masters programme (worth €10,000) for one of its management team.

"I'm delighted with the award," said Tour America MD Mary McKenna, "It's a stamp of approval for our customers that we've got the right core values and we're going in the right direction."

She added that the company had always been about innovation and planning for the future.

It launched the first dedicated cruise holidays centre at its Middle Abbey Street offices, and a website, cruiseholidays.ie, brought little-known brands such as Royal Caribbean to public attention and is now number one in the fast-growing sector in the industry.

In its 15 years in operation, it has also introduced a dedicated YouTube video site showcasing products and destinations, and has become a one-stop shop for US bookings in car hire and theme park tickets.

Two new sister companies, tourchina.ie and toursouthafrica.ie have developed strong niche markets as well as its main North American sales.