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Why a prominent NTIA nominee declined the honour

March 13, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

After the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) announced the 2018 list of nominees for the National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) yesterday – one company has effectively said “thanks but no thanks”.

As in previous years, more than 1000 nominees were received across all 38 award categories, the Federation said in a media statement.

The full list of nominees is available on the AFTA website here and voting will begin today, Tuesday 13 March, from 9am (AEDT).

One nominee has stood aside, however, and given its reason. Despite having initially being nominated in the ‘Best Broker Travel Network’ category, TravelManagers has advised AFTA of its decision to decline.

As chief operating officer, Grant Campbell, explains – in previous years TravelManagers was nominated in the ‘Best Travel Agency Retail – Multi Location’ category, but in 2018, the company was nominated in a newly-created category: ‘Best Broker Travel Network’.

TravelManagers chief operating officer, Grant Campbell

The definition of “broker” is a person who buys and sells goods or assets for others, and TravelManagers doesn’t consider the description fits.

“We don’t consider ‘Best Broker Travel Network’ to be an appropriate descriptor for the TravelManagers business model, in which our personal travel managers design customised holidays that are tailored to their individual client’s requirements,” Campbell said.

“We believe that to position our PTMs as travel brokers for the purposes of this award would be to undersell their expertise, knowledge and specialist service.”

2018 represents the ninth year that TravelManagers has been nominated in a category for the NTIA. The company has made clear that it is willing to be involved in NTIA in the future, should a more appropriate category be offered, or a nomination made in a different category.

“We very much appreciate the generous support from our industry partner suppliers in receiving this year’s nomination, which we believe reflects the strong relationships we have all worked hard to build and maintain, as well as the efforts made by each individual personal travel manager in maintaining our position as Australia’s leading premium travel network,” Campbell said.

“AFTA were respectful of our decision to decline and have invited us to suggest an alternative category name for use in future years.

“In the meantime, we wish them, AFTA and the NTIA Events Team all the very best for the upcoming awards ceremony and look forward to once again participating in the future.”

The 2018 NTIA key dates are:

  • Voting Period: Tuesday 13 March to Thursday 29 March
  • Finalists Announced (Voted & Submission Categories): Thursday 3 May
  • Ticket Sales: Friday 4 May
  • Judging Commences: Monday 28 May 2018 (Judged categories only)
  • Gala Dinner: Saturday 21 July 2018

Written by Peter Needham

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