Most Outstanding Wholesaler
THE recognition for Most Outstanding Wholesaler went to Creative Cruising, pipping Adventure World, Bedsonline, Expedia TAAP and The Africa Safari Co at the post.
The company said the win was down to its long-standing reputation in the industry as a brand that agents can trust and have a pleasure dealing with.
“We are proudly Australian owned and operated and have been selling cruise holidays via Agency partners for close to 30 years, a spokesperson for the company said.
“We provide an unbeatable mix of service, support and value with innovative technology solutions and customised membership options that support the needs of our Agency businesses.
“We have received overwhelming support from our partners and suppliers and are ecstatic to take home such a prestigious award at the NTIAs. Congratulations to all the finalists, it was wonderful to celebrate together again on the night.”
Most Outstanding Consumer Travel Journalist
IT WAS a hot field contesting the Most Outstanding Consumer Travel Journalist category this year, with the Australian Financial Review’s Fiona Carruthers emerging victorious over her three fellow nominees.
The win saw The Australian’s Lisa Allen, Traveller.com’s Katrina Lobley and freelance wordsmith Louise Goldsbury fight it out for the big honour, but it was Carruthers who was ultimately voted the most important voice in the room when communicating the big issues in travel to consumers.
On accepting the gong, she thanked the judges, organisers and sponsors for making the award possible, but saved her biggest thank you for the industry itself.
“I’d like to thank the members of the amazing travel industry, who (mostly!) always take my calls, give me a lot of their time, and are hugely supportive of my job in covering the industry,” Carruthers said, adding she always tries to inform the reader, present a balanced view of the topic, and get as many voices into a story as possible.
Emily Kadinski, itravel Carlingford
Most Outstanding Travel Consultant – Leisure
AT THE NTIAs on Saturday night, Emily Kadinski of itravel Carlingford claimed the award for Most Outstanding Travel Consultant Leisure, which she said was a recognition of her “lifelong devotion to the travel industry”.
“We work in an industry that requires commitment and determination, never more so than in the last two years, but when you love what you do, you push through adversity and the benefits are endless!” Kadinski said.
“For my industry peers to have given me the privilege of being ‘Most Outstanding in Australia’ is a mark I will wear proudly and never forget.
“I honestly couldn’t have done it without Mum, Sue Todorovski, who has taught me everything I know, as well as the rest of my family, Hubby Igor, Dad Tony and Steve and the whole itravel Team for your support since the day I started.”
Sustainability Award – Agency
REHO Travel Chief Executive Officer Karsten Horne said it was humbling for his travel agency, which has been at the forefront of the push for an AFTA sustainability award, to win the category at this year’s National Travel Industry Awards.
“I think we’d definitely like to thank AFTA, we’ve been lobbying for many years now to have a sustainability award, and to even be finalist and for the award to exist is fantastic,” Horne admitted.
“I’d like to thank all of our staff in Melbourne, Sydney, and also in Fiji.”
Horne added thanks to his daughter for helping Reho to put together its submission to AFTA while on holidays, after the travel agency’s Chief Executive hurt his hand, and had to outsource much of the heavy lifting!
Singapore Tourism Board
Most Popular Tourism Office
SINGAPORE Tourism Board (STB) Area Director Oceania Stephanie Yong humbly described her organisation’s naming as the Most Popular Tourism Office at last weekend’s National Travel Industry Awards as a “wonderful surprise”.
STB fought off stiff competition to take out the popular choice category, including Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania, Japan National Tourism Organization, Qatar Tourism, and Tahiti Tourisme.
“On behalf of my team, we’d like to thank everyone who voted for us, and also our industry partners who supported and collaborated with us, especially in the last year,” Yong added.
“We couldn’t have achieved this win without you,” she conceded, “it was a wonderful surprise to hear our win as Most Popular Tourism Office on Saturday.”
STB was not the only winner to do the Singaporean travel industry proud last weekend, with Singapore Airlines gonged for “Most Outstanding Industry Support – Air”.