Globe Travel Award 2012 winners are celebrating their success after a star-studded ceremony.
Among the big winners on the night were Tui Travel, with Thomson Airways winning Best Charter Airline and Thomson picking up Best Long-Haul Operator (multi-destination) and Best Short-Haul Operator. Its specialist brand Hayes & Jarvis also shared the award for Best Long-Haul Specialist Operator with Wendy Wu Tours - the only joint winners of the night.
Tui UK distribution and online director Nick Longman said: "To win four awards is a real bonus. We hoped to win the short-haul and airline award but to win the other two is really pleasing. Over the last few years we have put massive investment in our product and it's great to be recognised for all this work."
Other big winners were Royal Caribbean International, which won Best Mainstream Cruise Company, and sister cruise brand Celebrity Cruises, which scooped Best Premium Cruise Company; Attraction World, which won both Best Add-ons Provider and Best Trade Sales Team; and Superbreak, which won Best Accommodation-Only Provider and Best Operator UK Holidays.
Royal Caribbean UK general manager Jo Rzymowska said the company's two awards showed how seriously it takes the trade. She said: "This is significant for us and I am so proud of the team because they work tirelessly to make sure they give trade partners everything they need. We continue to look at ways to innovate and support the trade with ship visits and training. We do not rest on our laurels."
The Innovation in Travel Award went to strategic social media agency Digtal Visitor. Managing director Anthony Rawlins admitted he almost did not attend the awards because he thought winning an award was so unlikely. "I didn't think we had a hope in hell of winning. We are just a very small company in Bristol doing some clever stuff and I can't explain how much this means to us. I'm going to telephone every member of staff individually to tell them about this," he said.
Other winners included Holiday Extras, which was awarded the Best Insurance Provider. Head of insurance Andrea Clayton said: "This is the fourth year running for us and this will mean so much for the team."
Meanwhile, P&O Ferries took home the gong for Best Ferry Company. Passenger services director Simon Johnson said: "The readers of Travel Weekly have voted again which is fantastic - we never take their support for granted. I think now, when brands are so important, it counts for a lot to have that backing."
Shearings, which was named Best Coach Operator on the night, underlined its support for the trade. Commercial director Caroline Brown said: "We're very proud of our heritage, and the trade is very important to us. The average selling value on a coach holiday is high, and there is a lot of repeat business, so once our agents have got a customer, they've got them for life."