Four Irish travel agencies were presented with ITTN Travel Agency of the Year Awards on Friday night – JustSplit.com (Leinster), J Barter Travel Group (Munster), Fahy Travel (Connaught) and Oasis Travel (Ulster).
J Barter Travel Group was declared the overall ITTN Travel Agency of the Year and the trophy was presented to George Barter, Group Chairman, and Tom Randles, Managing Director, by Michael Flood, Editor, Irish Travel Trade News.
The awards were inaugurated last year as part of ITTN’s 50th anniversary celebrations. This year’s sponsors of the Irish Travel Trade Awards were invited to nominate two travel agencies in each province, based on their knowledge of the agencies’ day-to-day workings.
The 25 nominated agencies – 10 in Leinster, six in Munster, four in Connaught, and five in Ulster – were then each invited to submit a brief statement about their business, with a focus on recent and future marketing innovations, along with details of their websites and social media pages, and photos of the agency’s exterior and interior.
These submissions were then assessed by four judges – Sinead Grace, Tourism Ireland; Joan Scales, The Irish Times; Michael Flood, Editor, ITTN; and Neil Steedman, News & Features Editor, ITTN – with the judging panel convened by a non-voting Chairman, Stephen Murray, Grant Thornton.
Each judge took a particular focus – one analysed the websites and social media pages, one the type, size and number of branches of the businesses, another the marketing innovations, and the fourth the agency exteriors, shopfronts and interior environments – and reported their findings to the other three judges.
Each judge then nominated their first, second and third choices in each province, and Stephen Murray ascertained which agency in each province had received the highest combined rating. A similar process was then undertaken with the four province winners to determine the overall winner.
FOUR PROVINCE WINNERS:
Nominated agencies: Abbey Travel, Cassidy Travel, Club Travel, e-Travel, Grenham Travel, JustSplit.com, Keith Prowse, Trailfinders, Travel Department, World Travel Centre.
Nominated agencies: Dawson Travel, J Barter Travel Group, Lee Travel, Limerick Travel, Shandon Travel, Strand Travel.
Winner: J BARTER TRAVEL GROUP
Nominated agencies: Fahy Travel, Fly Away Travel, Grogan Travel, Society Travel.
Winner: FAHY TRAVEL
Nominated agencies: Bryan Somers Travel, Clubworld Travel, Knock Travel, Oasis Travel, O’Hanrahan Travel.
Winner: OASIS TRAVEL