PUBLISHER Bruce Piper said the surprise initiative aimed to recognise the significant contribution of several industry players through the pandemic, with the Business Publishing Group team wanting to showcase some of the hard work done to support the wider sector. Speaking at the company’s Still Still Standing Celebration for the industry, he said: “now that recovery is starting to happen, we’re so pleased to continue our partnerships with AFTA and CLIA for their major events, but we also tonight wanted to just highlight a handful of the many notable achievements that have happened despite the tough times we have all been through”.
“We’re calling these the Travel Daily Editors’ Choice Awards. They are by no means comprehensive, and there have been many other examples of excellence, but these are a few that we particularly wanted to highlight,” he said.
The award winners are below:
Best Destination Representative – Julie King & Associates
The first category we’ve decided to honour is an award for the Best Destination Representative, and it’s going to a business which has had many ups and downs in recent years, but has persevered, putting one foot in front of the other. And that perseverance has paid off with what looks to be a bright future – and the award goes to Julie King & Associates.
Best Cruise Marketing – Princess Cruises for The Real Love Boat
We created the Best Cruise Marketing Award specially to honour some amazing creativity and foresight, which would have required significant planning and optimism despite all the negativity around cruise over the last couple of years. The award for Best Cruise Marketing goes to Princess Cruises for The Real Love Boat – six months ago who would have thought they would be able to get a positive show on mainstream TV showcasing cruising and the Mediterranean, a move which supported the entire cruise and travel sector.
Best Tour Operator – Bunnik Tours
The Best Tour Operator category goes to an all-Australian business which has had to pivot hard through the pandemic. After a long history of operating international tours they created a domestic range, adapted their product as border restrictions changed and persevered despite all odds. The trophy for Best Tour Operator goes to Bunnik Tours.
Best Education and Training
The Best Education and Training award goes to an organisation which has continued operating under extreme conditions and has indeed flourished under the leadership of a team of committed people from right across Australasia. The Travel Daily Editors Choice award for Best Education and Training goes to TIME, the Travel Industry Mentor Experience.
Best Air Ticketing Support – CVFR Travel Group
During the pandemic there was a massive need for travel agents to be supported through flight cancellations and changes – initially with the shutdown of the borders but then on an ongoing basis which continues today through rescheduling, route updates and more. We created the category of Best Air Ticketing Support for a company which maintained its presence and call centre in the market all the way through – and the award goes to CVFR Travel Group.
Best Wholesaler – Entire Travel Group
The next award winner is a company which has completely retooled its offering over the last couple of years, not wasting a crisis but making the most of the opportunity to reinvent its sector with technology and innovation. The category is Best Wholesaler and the award goes to Entire Travel Group.
Best Cruise Industry Support – Norwegian Cruise Line for Walk for Wellness
The Best Cruise Industry Support award and it unsurprisingly goes to a company which has had an always-on strategy throughout the last couple of years, both in terms of maintaining its offering but also working hard to keep spirits and mental health up. The Travel Daily team can attest personally to having worn out a couple of pairs of shoes due to this initiative, with the Travel Daily Editors Choice Award for Best Cruise Industry Support going to Norwegian Cruise Line for its Walk for Wellness.
Best Industry Support – Richard Taylor
The final category in the awards is a well deserved honour for someone who we think is a real unsung hero of the pandemic. This person selflessly devoted themselves to keeping spirits up, week after week through all the dark days, in my opinion just because it was the right thing to do. The highly deserved Travel Daily Editors Choice Award for Best Industry Support goes to none other than Richard Taylor from the Travel Community Hub.