The 22nd Irish Travel Trade Awards, the industry’s ‘Oscars’, were announced and presented at last night’s Irish Travel Industry Christmas Party at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin. The Gala Dinner event was yet another success, creating a ‘great buzz’ among the attendees in the beautifully decorated ballroom, writes Neil Steedman, News and Features Editor of Irish Travel Trade News.
There were some surprises in the awards this year, with Florida finally overtaking New York to win ‘Best Americas Destination’, MSC Cruises walking off with ‘Best Cruise Company (3/4 Star)’ with RCI runner-up, and Travelport taking over the ‘Best Agent Friendly Supplier’ accolade from Amadeus. The new award category of ‘Best Luxury Rail Journey’ was won by Orient Express, while the also new ‘Best River Cruise Company’ was awarded to Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. Indeed, Uniworld also won ‘Best Cruise Company (5/6 Star) and One Stop Touring Shop won ‘Best Niche Tour Operator’ – so Sharon Jordan and her team were more than pleased!
Once the prizes were distributed, awards presented, photos taken and the meal completed, it was time for the disco and dancing to commence in the ballroom, while a jazz band entertained in the lounge area beside the bar.