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The winners! AFTA announces 2019 travel industry awards

July 22, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Travel industry guests learned the winners of AFTA’s National Travel Industry Awards at the NTIA annual gala dinner on Saturday, hosted this year by television journalist Anjali Rao in the Grand Ballroom of Sydney’s International Convention Centre.

Some 1300 travel industry guests attended, as the winners of all 44 award categories were announced.

A new segment this year was the inaugural CATO Awards, which recognise front-line travel consultants across four categories: Group Touring; Adventure; Ski; and Free Independent Travel (FIT).

The CATO Awards saw a consultant from Jayes Travel win two awards: Michelle Barker was named Consultant of the Year – Group Touring, and also Consultant of the Year – FIT. Leanne Flanagan Smith of Back Track Adventures took out the CATO award for Consultant of the Year – Adventure; and Jenny Tucker of Travel Partners won Consultant of the Year – Ski.

Two other new categories this year were “Best Mobile Travel Advisor Network” and “Best Mobile Travel Advisor”.

Last year, “Best Mobile Travel Advisor Network” was called “Best Broker Travel Network” – which led to the withdrawal of TravelManagers, which had been nominated consistently over the nine previous years. TravelManagers didn’t consider the description fitted the role of its personal travel managers (PTMs), pointing out that the definition of “broker” is a person who buys and sells goods or assets for others.

Kathy Millett of TravelManagers. Best Mobile Travel Advisor, 2019

This year, with those categories renamed, TravelManagers was back – with a vengeance! It won both categories. TravelManagers Australia was named Best Mobile Travel Advisor Network, and Kathy Millett, a TravelManagers PTM based in Claremont, Western Australia, won the title of Best Mobile Travel Advisor.

Some other results:

  • Best Travel Agency Group (50 Outlets Or More), Travellers Choice;
  • Best Non-branded Travel Agency Group, Magellan Travel;
  • Best Travel Agency Leisure – Single Location, Main Beach Travel;
  • Best Travel Agency Leisure – Multi Location, Helloworld Travel Mackay & Mt Pleasant;
  • Best Travel Agency Corporate – Single Location, Complete Business Travel;
  • Best Travel Agency Corporate – Multi Location, The Travel Authority;
  • Best National Corporate Travel Management Company, Corporate Travel Management;
  • Best Online Travel Agency, Flybuys Travel;
  • Best Business Events Travel Agency; The Events Authority;
  • Best Travel Consultant Leisure, Rebecca Knowles, Flight Centre Devonport;
  • Best Travel Consultant Corporate, Veronika PanzicShow Group Enterprise;
  • Best Travel Agency Manager – Leisure Single Location, Debbi Ashes – Helloworld Travel Lane Cove;
  • Best Travel Agency Manager – Leisure Multi Location, Bridie Clarke Italktravel & Cruise East Doncaster, Fountain Gate & Mt Waverley;
  • Best Travel Agency Manager – Corporate Single Location, Christopher Goddard – Maxim’s Travel.

Airline sponsors showed their commitment to the travel industry by providing more than AUD 100,000 worth of lucky door prizes. Major sponsor Qantas donated AUD 10,000 and AUD 20,000 Qantas travel vouchers.

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Star Alliance partnered with CATO tour operators to give away an extraordinary array of flights and land packages, and beverage sponsor, Air New Zealand, had guests hitting the New Zealand slopes without getting off their chairs with the Kiwi Peak Pros Challenge – for a chance to win a trip to one of four stunning New Zealand ski regions.

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International singing sensation Paulini entertained guests, thanks to Express Travel Group. In true travel industry style, guests continued celebrations into the early hours of the morning, thanks to Singapore Airlines, at the After Party at The Watershed Darling Harbour.

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“The NTIA is the industry’s only true awards,” AFTA chief executive Jayson Westbury told his audience.

“It has industry-wide representation and a strong history of recognising and celebrating businesses and personnel who demonstrate outstanding service, marketing excellence and business acumen within the travel industry.

“The event may be put on by AFbut it is the industry who makes it a celebration to remember each and every year”, said Jayson Westbury, AFTA Chief Executive.

The full list of 2019 winners is available by clicking through to the AFTA website.

Written by Peter Needham

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