Friday night heralded the coming of Christmas for the Irish travel industry when ITTN’s 50th anniversary masquerade ball was enjoyed by over 300 industry representatives, particularly the winners of 46 prizes awarded – the ITTN Industry Achievement Award, the ITTN Travel Agency of the Year Awards, the ITTN Budding Travel Writer of the Year Award, 23 Irish Travel Trade Awards, 15 Prize Draws of air tickets and holidays for two, and the ITTN Voter’s Prize.
The event was sponsored by the DAA, DoubleTree by Hilton, Falcon Holidays, Grant Thornton, Hertz, Malaysia Tourism, Malta Tourism Authority, Salou Tourist Board, Tourism Authority of Thailand, and Travel Counsellors Ireland, and with the Spanish Tourism Office organising sponsorship of the cava and wines by Andalucia Tourist Board.
The evening was yet another success, with a ‘great party buzz’ created among the attendees as they were welcomed by fire eating acrobats, drummers and masquerade ball ladies, and entertained by Brazilian samba dancers and capoeira dancers, and, at the end of the evening, by the Havanah Club Trio jazz band. To see all the action, visit http://youtu.be/Ki15mEEOCvg
Sunway was the big winner this year, collecting three awards for ‘Best Sun Holiday Tour Operator’, ‘Best Specialist Tour Operator’, and ‘Best Long Haul Tour Operator’. Aer Lingus, Etihad Airways and Travelport each won two awards, with Travelport once again winning the overall ‘Best Agent Friendly Supplier’.
Florida retained the ‘Best Americas Destination’ title, which it had taken from New York last year, and Mexico was a first-time winner of the ‘Best Worldwide Sun Destination’ award.
Royal Caribbean International regained ‘Best Cruise Company (3/4 Star)’, while sister company Celebrity Cruises won ‘Best Cruise Company (5/6 Star)’ and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection won ‘Best River Cruise Company’. The new award category of ‘Best Rail Company’ was won by Voyages-sncf.
Once the prizes were distributed, awards presented, photos taken and the meal completed, it was time for the disco and dancing to commence in the ballroom, while the Cuban jazz band entertained in the lounge area beside the bar.