Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalists

Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalists

CarTrawler, Club Travel, and Clubs to Hire have been chosen by the Association of Foreign Airlines, the Irish Tour Operators Federation and Irish Travel Trade News as the three short-listed finalists for the inaugural Irish Travel Industry Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The judging panel for the inaugural Irish Travel Industry Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Philip Airey, Irish Tour Operators Federation; Catherine Grennell-Whyte, Association of Foreign Airlines; independent chairman Stephen Murray, Grant Thornton Ireland; and Ronan Flood, Irish Travel Trade News.


CarTrawler was established by brothers Greg and Niall Turley and earlier this year UK private equity house ECI Partners made a substantial investment into the company.

CarTrawler is the first company to provide a next generation car rental distribution system, specialising solely in car rental solutions. The company offers car rental from over 550 car rental suppliers in 175 countries in 25,000 city and airport locations, in 29 languages, quoting in multiple currencies.

Club Travel

Club Travel was established by Liam Lonergan in 1971, initially traded as a tour operator, and is the original Irish specialist in consolidated, cheap and discount airfares.

Club Travel has since grown to be the largest travel management company in Ireland, currently with 125 staff and with a mix of business including consolidation, retail, corporate travel management, and brands such as HRG Ireland, Budget Travel and Destinations.

Clubs to Hire

Clubs to Hire was established by Tony Judge and Gerry McKernan in 2010 and secured the services of golf professional Paul McGinley.

Clubs to Hire enables customers to avoid the inconvenience and cost of transporting golf clubs and to choose the golf set of their dreams at airport locations – currently Alicante, Dublin, Edinburgh, Faro, Malaga and Murcia.

Award Presentation

The above three shortlisted nominees have completed a brief questionnaire prepared by independent chair Grant Thornton and these submissions have been separately judged, using an agreed weighted scoring system, by the three partner organisations, AFA, ITOF and ITTN.

The results have been independently and confidentially collated by Grant Thornton, and the winning individual or company will be announced, and presented with the Irish Travel Industry Entrepreneur of the Year Award, at the inaugural Irish Travel Industry Christmas Party being held this Friday 25th November 2011 at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin 4.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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