September 1992 – ITTN Launches Irish Travel Trade Awards

September 1992 – ITTN Launches Irish Travel Trade Awards

“Irish Travel Trade News is pleased to present the first Irish Travel Trade Awards. The Awards are designed to recognise excellence and achievement within the travel industry. We feel that the travel agents of Ireland should have the opportunity to pick the best operators in the various categories. It is right and fitting that the electorate should be you, the travel agents of Ireland. For it is to you that the travelling public turn for professional advice, and no-one is better equipped to arbitrate on the relative merits of the various suppliers of the total travel product.” With these words ITTN launched the Irish Travel Trade Awards over 20 years ago in September 1992.

Story 2

Since they were launched in 1992, the Irish Travel Trade Awards have been much sought after by suppliers to the travel industry because they are voted for by professional travel agents throughout Ireland and are independently audited. Many winning suppliers promote their Irish Travel Trade Awards in their consumer marketing and advertising – in Ireland and abroad.

The inaugural Irish Travel Trade Awards were presented at a Charity Lunch in Jurys Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin, on Friday 22nd January 1993. The presentation ceremony was the first official engagement attended by Brian Cowen TD as Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications, who presented the awards.

There were 10 award categories, with three of the five airline awards being won by Aer Lingus and the others by Delta Air Lines and British Airways. The winner of the Best Tour Operator Ex-Ireland award was Joe Walsh Tours, with Falcon Holidays and Budget Travel coming in second and third place respectively.

Joe Walsh said: “It is a great honour for JWT to win this award – it means a lot to us to be voted number one by the retail agents – and I would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to our excellent staff. I also commend Irish Travel Trade News on the professional way in which the awards were organised and presented.”

1992 Awards Winners

The winners of the inaugural 1992 Irish Travel Trade Awards with the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications, Brian Cowan TD; Jim Sharkey, President, Irish Travel Agents Association; and Michael Flood, Editor, Irish Travel Trade News

The Best Ski Tour Operator category, introduced in the 1994 Awards, was won by Topflight, which has gone on to win the award every year since (with the exception of 2004 when the category was changed to Best Ski Destination, then won by Austria) – an impressive record.

One of the new categories introduced in the 1996 Awards was that of Best Travel Trade Representative – however, several supplier companies expressed reservations about this award, concerned that if one of their employees won it then they would be ‘highlighted for head-hunting’, and this category was subsequently dropped. For the record, the winner in 1996 was Grainne Caffrey, then a representative for Falcon / JWT Holidays, and the runner-up was Ray McDonnell of Irish Ferries.

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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

More in News

Willie Walsh Appointed Deputy Chairman of CarTrawler

Neil SteedmanSeptember 26, 2020

UNWTO Launches New Tourism Recovery Tracker

Neil SteedmanSeptember 25, 2020

Royal Caribbean announces updates to 2021 Summer cruises

Michael FloodSeptember 24, 2020

ITAA Calls for Covid-19 Tests Before Flight Departures

Neil SteedmanSeptember 24, 2020

“Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, Celebrity Apex, arrives in Southampton

Michael FloodSeptember 23, 2020

IATA Calls for Universal Testing to Rebuild Aviation Confidence

Neil SteedmanSeptember 23, 2020

London Travel Week Will Be Fully Virtual in 2020

Neil SteedmanSeptember 23, 2020

What’s Another Green List?

Neil SteedmanSeptember 22, 2020

Unprecedented Industry Appeal to EC President to End Quarantines and Develop Common EU Testing Protocol

Neil SteedmanSeptember 22, 2020

Copyright © 2019 Belgrave Group Limited, C4 Nutgrove Office Park, Nutgrove Avenue, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, Ireland