Brass Monkeys Warm Up the Audience at Irish Travel Trade Awards ‘Oscars’ Gala Dinner

Brass Monkeys Warm Up the Audience at Irish Travel Trade Awards ‘Oscars’ Gala Dinner

Friday night heralded the coming of Christmas for the Irish travel industry, with 350 industry representatives enjoying the 27th Irish Travel Trade Awards Gala Dinner with RTÉ news presenter Keelin Shanley as MC. Next year’s event will again take place at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin 4, on Friday 22nd November 2019.

The evening began with attendees being welcomed by fire jugglers and after dinner the guests were entertained by a powerful performance by the Brass Monkeys, followed by DJ Claire Beck and harpist.

The Hertz team celebrated their 100th anniversary at the awards

The evening was particularly good for the winners of 56 prizes awarded – the ITTN Industry Achievement Award, the ITTN Travel Agency of the Year Awards, the ITTN+EMIRATES Travel Photographer of the Year Awards, 26 Irish Travel Trade Awards, the ITTN Voter’s Prize, 15 Raffle Prizes including air tickets and holidays for two, and the Best Social Media Post prize.

Kamonpan, Amazing Thailand, welcomed guests with orchids

The stage is set and guests are seated

Welcoming his guests, Ronan Flood, Managing Director, Advantage Group, publishers of Irish Travel Trade News and organisers of the Irish Travel Trade Awards, said: “These awards have always been a much sought after accolade by travel industry suppliers – because they are voted by you, Irish travel agents North and South, and because they are independently audited by Grant Thornton.

Ronan Flood, Managing Director, Irish Travel Trade News, welcomes guests and highlights why ITTN is the premier travel trade multi-channel media in Ireland

“This event would not be possible without the generosity and participation of our three Gold Sponsors – Emirates, Hertz, Spanish Tourist Office – and our eight Silver Sponsors – Cork Airport, Salou Tourist Board, Shannon Airport, Silversea, Amazing Thailand, The Travel Corporation, TUI Ireland, and Las Vegas CVA. I thank them all very much indeed for their essential support in staging this event.”

Irish Travel Trade News

He continued: “Irish Travel Trade News is the premier travel trade multi-channel media in Ireland. It has been so for the past 54 years and this is our 27th year to present the prestigious Irish Travel Trade Awards.

“ITTN is recognised around the world for our professional reporting. Between them the ITTN team has visited over 100 countries, we are the exclusive trade media in Ireland for World Travel Market, and we have a database of 10,000 travel industry professionals.

Irish Travel Trade News media channels

“We are the only Irish travel trade media to offer ALL of the following promotional channels:

  • Our website,, has had 1.5 million views and is the highest ranked travel trade media in Ireland
  • Our twice-weekly eBulletins
  • The Irish Travel Trade Awards, including the ITTN Travel Agency of the Year Awards and the ITTN Industry Achievement Award
  • Our client-dedicated eNews
  • Quarterly, high-quality print magazines
  • Innovative competitions, including the ITTN+EMIRATES Travel Photographer of the Year
  • Our B2B and B2C website,, with 1,400 company listings, daily news, Travel Deals of the Day, and reports by top Irish bloggers
  • Social media activity on Facebook and Twitter, with a total of 9,900 followers.”

MC Keelin Shanley prepares to announce 15 raffle prize draw winners

Award Winners

Royal Caribbean International was a big winner this year, collecting three category awards for ‘Best Ocean Cruise Company’, ‘Best Use of Social Media Marketing’, and ‘Best Agency Support / Training Programme’.

Tour operators Sunway, Topflight, G Adventures, and If Only… won awards for Sun, Ski, Adventure, and Long Haul respectively, while Lanzarote again won ‘Best Sun Holiday Destination’.

Joanne Madden, Travelport, was again declared ‘Best Agent-Friendly Individual’ – from among 41 nominations, and the newly introduced award categories of ‘Best Familiarisation Trip’ and ‘Best Luxury Travel Experience’ were won by Wendy Wu Tours and Uniworld respectively.

Irish Travel Trade News will be making a donation to its charity partner for 2018, DAofI (Dyslexia Association of Ireland), from the proceeds of the event.

Olwen McKinney, Amadeus; Arminda Delgado, Lanzarote Tourist Board; Sara Rivero, Spanish Tourist Office; Antoinette Young, TUI Ireland; Kathryn MacDonnell, Spanish Tourist Office; and Susana Cardoso, Portuguese Tourist Office

Dave Smith, Suzanne Mulligan and Rod Sheppard, TUI Ireland

Serena Kelly, Thai Airways; Kim Romanski, Romanski PR; Chiravadee Khunsub, Amazing Thailand; Sunanta Trai-Ukos, Thai Airways; Cecily Barton, Romanski PR; and Emma Arnott, Amazing Thailand

Lauren Mahon, Topflight, and Marike Nolan, Douglas Travel

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at

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