Head to our Instagram for exclusive video interviews with the night’s winners and sponsors, and see more photos of the night HERE.
Helloworld Travel Mackay, Mt Pleasant & Townsville
Most Outstanding Travel Agency – Leisure
ALWAYS one of the hotly-contested categories at the NTIAs is the Most Outstanding Travel Agency – Leisure award, with Helloworld Travel Mackay, Mt Pleasant, Townsville recognised as the best in the country over the weekend.
The agency’s owner, Annabel Dolphin, beamed after the win, telling travelBulletin that hope was never a strategy for success in order to survive the travel shutdown.
“We have never lost sight of what our long-term objective has been which is to become the leading retail travel business within Queensland,” she said.
“Hard work, realistic expectations and making the most of each day has been essential in how we are coming out the other side.
“We have continued to not accept the status quo and challenged ourselves to be better, become stronger and keep innovating,” Dolphin added.
Rose Febo, TravelManagers
Most Outstanding Mobile/Home-based Travel Advisor
MOBILE travel network TravelManagers were big winners at this year’s NTIAs, scooping two big honours on the night, including their own Rose Febo winning the Most Outstanding Mobile/Home-Based Travel Advisor accolade.
Reflecting on her 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.”
Jacinta Blundell, Helloworld Travel Buderim & Caboolture
Most Outstanding Travel Agency Manager
THE NTIA Most Outstanding Travel Agency Manager accolade was received by Jacinta Blundell, owner of two Queensland-based Helloworld Travel agencies, Buderim and Caboolture.
“Thank you to each and every peer and colleague for your support, without your nominations this journey wouldn’t have even been possible,” Blundell enthused.
“I do need to give a big shout out to Viking Cruises and Covermore Travel Insurance for hosting my team members to be there on the night to represent our businesses and me personally – I could not believe we finally get our first Solo Group Journey away since pre-covid and it coincides with the most important event in my travel career!
“I am super proud of my whole team for their support and having the grit and determination to make it through such a difficult few years – I know I wouldn’t have won without them!”
Tenille Hunt, Quark Expeditions
Most Outstanding Sales Executive – Cruise
RISING star at Quark Expeditions, Tenille Hunt felt higher than she did on a recent helicopter flight over Antarctica, with the business development manager walking away with the coveted Most Outstanding Sales Consultant – Cruise at the NTIAs.
Hunt has been critical in raising the profile of the expedition cruise line in Australia, efforts that were dutifully recognised by the industry.
“I believe I won due to my passion and dedication to the expedition sector and my love of Polar cruising and I guess people saw that in me. It’s nice to be recognised for my work,” she said.
“I want to send a big thankyou to my team at Quark Expeditions for all their support, a special shout to my boss Robert Halfpenny who I have learnt so much from, and I definitely wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the advice, guidance and support of past employers and mentors within the industry.”
Nicole Laurie, Delta Air Lines
Most Outstanding Sales Executive – Air
DELTA Air Lines National Account Manager Nicole Laurie said she is proud her company has continued to support travel advisors, after scooping the ‘Most Outstanding Sales Executive – Air’ prize at this year’s National Travel Industry Awards.
Laurie insisted the COVID-19 pandemic had not shifted Delta’s support level for its travel partners, which contributed to her winning of the award.
“Although the last couple of years has been tough on us all, I am fortunate to represent a company that takes pride in supporting our agency partners at the highest level,” she said.
“Adapting to clients changing needs and being there for them has been more important than ever during this time.
“Delta has a listen, act, listen philosophy which goes hand in hand with my customer centric style, always putting the client first and going above and beyond.
Laurie said it is easy to be passionate about the Delta product, and is blessed to work with such “fabulous” industry partners.
Dylan Hearne, Backroads Global Touring
Most Outstanding Sales Executive – Land
Back-roads Global Touring’s Dylan Hearne received the Most Outstanding Sales Executive – Land Supply at the NTIAs on Saturday, an honour which left him feeling “chuffed and humbled”, as well as “a little overwhelmed and emotional”.
“I think the ability to video your answer vs have a written submission played nicely into my hands,” he said of the NTIA application process.
“I created an animated version of myself, which I was able to show case as part of the profile. To be able to answer the four questions from the heart was advantageous to, as it allowed the raw emotion that I felt to be shared. It gave me the chance to offer reflective real circumstance and the ability to add clarity to context via the conversational nature of the approach.
“Other thanking my new best friend ‘YouTube Learning’, I would love to thank my wife, for allowing me to buy so much tech gear…that I may use again,” he quipped.
Hearne added that he was grateful to GM of Sales David Gendle for giving him the licence “to keep our brands alive with limited (that’s being polite) marketing flex”.