Deirdre Sweeny, Sunway Holidays, was declared the winner of this year’s Irish Travel Trade News Budding Travel Writer of the Year Award at Friday night’s Gala Dinner event. Deirdre, who reported on her recent fam trip to San Francisco with Aer Lingus, was presented with a cheque for €1,000 by Cathy Burke, General Manager, Travel Counsellors Ireland, the competition’s sponsor.
The judging panel comprised Cathy Burke and Sinead Cregan-Hayes, Recruitment Executive, Travel Counsellors Ireland, and Ronan Flood, Managing Editor, and Neil Steedman, News & Features Editor, Irish Travel Trade News.
Each month from May to November all entries were independently assessed by the four judges – three of whom did not know the identities of the authors – and the winner was presented with a €100 One4all voucher and an invitation to the Irish Travel Trade Awards. In November the five winning entries were independently re-assessed and the overall winner determined.
May’s winner was Kerstie Costello of Grogan Travel, who reported on her fam trip to Scotland with Insight Vacations.
June’s winner was Irene McCaffrey of Travel Department, who reported on her fam trip to Andalucia with the Spanish Tourism Office.
July’s winner was Blaithin O’Donnell of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, who reported on her fam trip to Washington DC with United Airlines.
August’s winner was Shane Cullen of Killiney Travel, who wrote about his fam trip to Philadelphia and Atlantic City with Visit USA.
September’s winner was Kathryn McCarthy of Australia Travel Centre, who described her first visit to Benidorm on a fam trip with Lowcostbeds and the Spanish Tourism Office.
October’s winner was Deirdre Sweeny of Sunway Holidays, who visited California and San Francisco on a fam trip with Aer Lingus.
November’s winner was Caroline Martin of Project Travel, who visited Stockholm on a prize trip with SAS Scandinavian Airlines.