Wendy Wu Tours Wins Inaugural ‘Best Familiarisation Trip’ Award

Wendy Wu Tours Wins Inaugural ‘Best Familiarisation Trip’ Award

Wendy Wu Tours won the inaugural ‘Best Familiarisation Trip’ award, while Uniworld River Cruises won the inaugural ‘Best Luxury Travel Experience’ award, at the 27th Irish Travel Trade Awards in the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin 4, on Friday 23rd November 2018.

Royal Caribbean International won three awards – ‘Best Ocean Cruise Company’, ‘Best Use of Social Media Marketing’ and ‘Best Agent Support / Training Programme’ – while three companies each won two awards: Aer Lingus for ‘Best Airline to Europe’ and ‘Best Airline to North America’; Emirates for ‘Best Long Haul Airline’ and ‘Best Business Class Airline’; and Uniworld for ‘Best Ocean Cruise Company’ and ‘Best Luxury Travel Experience’. Joanne Madden, Travelport, was again voted ‘Best Agent-Friendly Individual’.

Chiravadee Khunsub, Amazing Thailand, presents the Best Use of Social Media Marketing award to Jennifer Callister, Holly Wilkinson and Michelle Ryan of Royal Caribbean International, who also won awards for Best Ocean Cruise Company and Best Agency Support / Training Programme

All staff working for a licensed and bonded travel agency anywhere on the island of Ireland were eligible to vote and the voting forms were submitted directly to, and then independently collated and audited by, international accountants and consultants Grant Thornton.

All eligible Voting Forms received were entered into a prize draw, with the winner of two tickets to the Irish Travel Trade Awards being randomly selected by Grant Thornton’s computer.


Best Destination in Europe:  Spain

Best Destination in North America:  New York

Best Destination in Asia/Pacific:  Thailand

Best Sun Holiday Destination:  Lanzarote


Best Sun Tour Operator:  Sunway

Best Ski Tour Operator:  Topflight

Best Adventure Tour Operator:  G Adventures

Best Long Haul Tour Operator:  If Only…

Daragh Hanratty, Cork Airport, presents the Best Airline to North America award to Jenny Rafter, Yvonne Muldoon, Dermot Lee, Sarah Lee Fabi, Alan Molloy, and Ivan Beacom of Aer Lingus, who also won the Best Airline to Europe award

Best Airline to Europe:  Aer Lingus

Best Airline to North America:  Aer Lingus

Best Long Haul Airline:  Emirates

Best Business Class Airline:  Emirates

Declan Power, Shannon Airport, presents the Best Business Class Airline award to Jennied Guzman, Enda Corneille, and Filippo Rocchi of Emirates, who also won the Best Long Haul Airline award

Best Ferry Company:  Irish Ferries

Best River Cruise Company:  Uniworld

Best Ocean Cruise Company:  Royal Caribbean International

Best Luxury Ocean Cruise Company:  Silversea Cruises

Benet Presas, Salou Tourist Board, presents the Best River Cruise Company award to Carol Hurley, Adam Goddard, Brian Hynes, and Sharon Jordan of Uniworld, who also won the Best Luxury Travel Experience award

Best Car Rental Company:  Hertz

Best Rail Company:  Railshop


Best National Tourist Office:  Spanish Tourist Office

Best Accommodation Provider:  Bookabed

Best Travel Technology Provider:  Amadeus

Michael Flood, Irish Travel Trade News, presents the Best Agent-Friendly Individual Award to Joanne Madden, Travelport, who was again the winner from among the 41 people nominated this year

Best Use of Social Media Marketing:  Royal Caribbean International

Best Agency Support / Training Programme: Royal Caribbean International

Best Familiarisation Trip: Wendy Wu Tours

Bet Luxury Travel Experience: Uniworld River Cruise

Best Agent-Friendly Individual:  Joanne Madden (Travelport)

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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

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