Flight Centre Travel Group
Most Outstanding Travel Agency Group
FLIGHT Centre was one of the big winners on the night, taking out the huge gong of the Most Outstanding Travel Agency Group. In accepting the award, the company’s CEO of Leisure, James Kavanagh, said that while Flight Centre was very proud to have taken out the category, the more important priority was that the travel agent sector survived the turbulent period of COVID.
“I remember our CEO Skroo Turner telling us that ‘it’s not just about Flight Centre, it’s also about making sure the entire industry survives’ and…that we come through this together as a stronger industry overall,” he said.
“Flight Centre has very much been a strong supporter of the industry and as a result of that the company has come through the period a lot stronger than what we were.”
Most Outstanding Non-Branded Travel Agency Group
Traveller’s Choice Managing Director Christian Hunter believes his company’s culture of closeness meant it understood what kind of support the travel industry required during the pandemic, resulting in its triumph as ‘Most Outstanding Non-Branded Agency Group’ at the weekend’s National Travel Industry Awards.
“We understood, perhaps because of our close culture, that the support required went beyond the daily hands-on assistance with all manner of business issues and extended right through to looking out for our members’ mental and physical wellbeing,” Hunter believes.
“We provided our members with the support they needed; at the time they needed it the most, and that hasn’t stopped.
“I don’t think there is any doubt that we have received this award in recognition of the extraordinary support we provided to our members through the pandemic.”
Hunter thanked and dedicated the award to Traveller’s Choice’s members, “who did it tougher than anyone through the pandemic.”
“Our members don’t have huge balance sheets, they are independent, mum & dad operations, and survival was about more than just keeping a business going, it was about finding ways to ensure food was on the table and they had a roof overhead,” he said.
Hunter also acknowledged the Traveller’s Choice team, “every member of which has shown remarkable focus and dedication.”
Corporate Travel Management
Most Outstanding Travel Management Company
CORPORATE Travel Management (CTM) took home the accolade for Most Outstanding Travel Management Company at the National Travel Industry Awards (NTIAs) in Sydney last Saturday night.
CEO ANZ Greg McCarthy commented, “This award is dedicated to all our employees as an acknowledgement of their outstanding performance, professionalism and commitment throughout the most challenging of times”.
“Our teams stood up to the challenge by supporting their customers and each other, and despite immense pressure and a fast-changing travel environment, showed a relentless capacity to design new, creative and effective solutions for customers, partners and our own business operations…I am immensely proud of their achievements.
“I’d also like to thank AFTA and all the award entrants and finalists for their exceptional performance and important contribution to the recovery of the travel industry in Australia.”
Most Outstanding Mobile Advisor Network
MOBILE travel network TravelManagers were big winners at this year’s NTIAs, scooping two big honours on the night and sending a strong signal to the rest of the industry that they have steadied the ship and are rebounding strongly from the pandemic.
The group took out the Most Outstanding Mobile Advisor Network category, while one of its own, Rose Febo, also won the Most Outstanding Mobile/Home-Based Travel Advisor accolade.
“I think the reason we won was a combination of how well we supported our network through the ‘C word’, both from a financial and emotional perspective with our NAP (Network Assistance Program) for free psychological support,” Executive General Manager Michael Gazal said.
“For our team at the National Partnership Office, this award really is for them, their commitment, hard work and dedication to our business through the most challenging period our industry has ever experienced,” he added.
Reflecting on her own win, Febo gushed, “my endless passion for my travel and cruise business, my valued clients, and the travel and cruise industry community is what I live and breathe. Travel for me is like oxygen – without it I would die.”
Most Outstanding Online Travel Agency
MyCruises General Manager Michael Middleton believes his company scored the ‘Most Outstanding Marketing Campaign’ gong at the weekend’s National Travel Industry Awards due to the relationships it holds with its suppliers.
“I think it’s a combination of our outstanding team of passionate cruise experts who love what they do, and most importantly the relationships that we hold with our travel industry suppliers,” Middleton told travelBulletin.
“We look at them as true partners in business and not just a supplier, they have all played a huge part in the success and growth of the MyCruises brand,” he added.
Middleton thanked MyCruises’ partners for the nominations, as well as the constant support the company has been given over the last few years.
He also called out the MyCruises team, “some of the best in the industry.”
People’s Choice Award
The 2022 NTIA’s People Choice Award went to Melbourne-based travel and cruise specialist, TravLin Travel, which first opened in 2016. Owner of the AFTA-accredited agency, Linda Forster, said the win was “an absolute privilege” that “means the world”.
Forster believes everyone walked away a winner on the industry’s night of nights for “getting through, for being there walking with our clients through the hard, for remaining steadfast that we would all one day get to the other side”.
Forster thanked Travellers Choice for its “commitment and unwavering support to its members” as well as AFTA for its “encouragement, support in ideas, hard ongoing work and pulling together the accumulation of these last 2.5 years”.
“Last but not least, thank you to our clients, the ‘people’…thanks for your patience, your ongoing support, and your faith. “We got to the other side, we got there together, so I am delighted to declare we got this award together too!”