Six suppliers each won two of the 25 Irish Travel Trade Awards 2012 presented at the Irish Travel Industry Christmas Party at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin, last Friday night – with Amadeus winning ‘Best Agent Friendly Supplier’ for the second time as well as ‘Best Travel Technology Provider’.
The ‘Best Airline to Europe’ Award was won by Aer Lingus, which was also a joint winner, along with United, of a ‘Best Airline to North America’ Award, and Etihad Airways won ‘Best Long Haul Airline’ and ‘Best Premium Class Airline’. Other double winners were Spain, with ‘Best Europe Destination’ and ‘Best National Tourist Office’; BookaBed with ‘Best Accommodation Provider’ and ‘Best Dynamic Packaging System’; Topflight, which added ‘Best Long Haul Tour Operator’ to its long-standing ‘Best Ski Tour Operator’ Award, and Royal Caribbean with ‘Best Cruise Company (3/4 Star)’ for Royal Caribbean International and ‘Best Cruise Company (5/6 Star)’ for Celebrity Cruises.
Falcon Holidays was voted ‘Best Sun Holiday Tour Operator’. Dubai won the Award for ‘Best Middle East / Africa Destination’, Thailand won ‘Best Asia / Pacific Destination’, and Disneyland Paris won the newly introduced Award for ‘Best Theme Park Destination’.
Every travel agent in Ireland, north and south, was entitled to vote for their top 25 suppliers and their votes were submitted directly to, and then independently collated and audited by, Grant Thornton.
Announcing the Awards, Ronan Flood, Managing Editor of Irish Travel Trade News, said: “ITTN has been serving the Irish travel industry since 1964 and our website, www.ittn.ie, now receives almost 200,000 visits a year, or an average of 16,000 a month, or just under 4,000 every week. Our daily ‘Irish Travel eBulletins’ now sends 30 to 40 news stories directly to the desks of Irish travel industry personnel every week.
“Twenty-one years ago we introduced what have long since become established as the Irish travel industry’s very own ‘Oscars’ – the Irish Travel Trade Awards. These awards are determined by the professional travel agents of Ireland, North and South, and have therefore always been a much sought after accolade by travel industry suppliers. Many have used them in their marketing collateral and consumer advertising – as I am sure the winners of the 2012 Awards will also.
“2012 has been another difficult year for most involved in the travel industry, but all of us here have survived and there are signs – admittedly tentative! – that the worst is at least over, even though consumers’ disposable incomes will continue to be under pressure. And who knows what next week’s Budget will bring!
“As regards consumer protection requirements, the need for a level playing field between bricks-and-mortar travel agents, online travel agents, airlines and other travel providers is as great a priority as ever. This may be addressed by changes to the EU Package Travel Directive – we should see more details in the spring – but travel agents should also be aware that, when dynamically packaging, their status may be changed from agent to that of principal under the proposed new Directive.”
2012 Irish Travel Trade Awards – All the Winners
Best Europe Destination: Spain
Best North America Destination: New York
Best Middle East / Africa Destination: Dubai
Best Asia / Pacific Destination: Thailand
Best Theme Park Destination: Disneyland Paris
Best Sun Holiday Tour Operator: Falcon Holidays
Best Ski Tour Operator: Topflight
Best Niche Tour Operator: One Stop Touring Shop
Best Long Haul Tour Operator: Topflight
Best Airline to Europe: Aer Lingus
Best Airline to North America: Aer Lingus and United
Best Long Haul Airline: Etihad Airways
Best Premium Class Airline: Etihad Airways
Best Ferry Company: Irish Ferries
Best Cruise Company (3/4 Star): Royal Caribbean International
Best Cruise Company (5/6 Star): Celebrity Cruises
Best Leisure Car Rental Company: Holiday Autos
Best Business Car Rental Company: Hertz
Best Resort Transfer Company: Resort Hoppa
Best Accommodation Provider: Bookabed.ie
Best National Tourist Office: Spanish Tourism Office
Best Travel Technology Provider: Amadeus
Best Dynamic Packaging System: BookaBed
Best Travel Insurance Company: Blue Insurances
Best Agent Friendly Supplier: Amadeus