The Globe Travel Awards honour outstanding individuals and travel suppliers, and took place in front of more than 1,200 guests at Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane.
Donna Jones, former manager of Thomas Cook Longton, won the Penny Akam Unsung Hero Award on behalf of all Ex-Thomas Cook staff
Jones and her team set up a pop-up Thomas Cook shop to advise customers how to claim refunds from the Civil Aviation Authority. Jones, now manager of Polka Dot Travel Longton, said: “I am gobsmacked. We just did what we were trained to do. Customers are at the heart of everything we do.”
Facebook Live video with Donna Jones
Outstanding Achievement Award: Midcounties Co-operative retail chief and Abta chairman Alistair Rowland
“You’re there to serve people and you try to look after the business.
“It means the world. It ratifies the Co-op’s place in the industry as a significant and trusted brand.”
He added: “What I’m most proud of is that we developed and protected the brand to the point that it’s one of the top agency brands in the UK.
“It means more than you know. To be able to do business properly and in a good way is terrific. I’m very proud.”
Facebook Live with Alistair Rowland
Innovation in Travel Award: GetTransfer.com
Arie Kravtchin, one of the three co-founders, said: “We are very, very pleased to receive the innovation award. This is what our company is all about.
“We are trying to disrupt, we are trying to make people’s lives better when they are getting in and out of airports.
“We are really pleased to be recognised by someone like Travelport who is a big player in the industry and understand a lot of the pain points around transportation. Our product innovation proves we can improve the industry.”
Best Mainstream Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ben Bouldin, Martin MacKinnon and Stuart Byron celebrate the line’s win. Bouldin said: “For us, this is the biggest awards event of the year, it’s the one we care about the most and we are delighted to win.
“Every year we challenge ourselves and constantly try to innovate. This year has probably been a little bit quieter for us but we’ve got a phenomenal plan in place for next year and we can’t wait to share it with the trade.”
Best Ferry Company – P&O Ferries
Sarah Rosier, head of tourist partnership sales, said: “After such an unprecedented year with the Brexit situation and how hard it was to get the customer to choose us, it is amazing. The trade has really supported us. We’re really grateful.”
Best Luxury Cruise Line: Silversea
Peter Shanks said: “I think it’s 14 years on the run now we’ve won the award, but we’d never take it for granted. Winning is a tribute to the crew on board our ships and our travel agent partners. I’m so proud of our team and grateful to our travel agent partners.”
Richard’s been after this photo for ages! pic.twitter.com/N6nIaJLjpJ
— Derek Jones (@Degsy_DJ) January 16, 2020
Best Specialist Cruise Line: Hurtigruten
Anthony Daniels, Hurtigruten’s UK general manager, said: “I am incredibly proud. This is an award that we’ve held in such high regard. We have won because we have engaged with UK [market] and head office has endorsed us and we’ve brought key products to our home shores. Head office understands that we have to bring ships here so that the trade can see the direction that we’re heading in.”
Best River Cruise Line: APT
Jessica Shelton-Agar said: “It’s incredible to win. 75% of our business comes from our trade partners so without the travel trade we wouldn’t be here. We have great BDMs on the road looking after all the amazing agents out there who we want to thank for their incredible support.”
— Jo Vaughton (@jovaughton) January 16, 2020
Best Premium Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises
Jo Rzymowska, managing director, UK, Ireland and APAC, said: “We continue to innovate. We continue to not rest on our laurels. We continue to listen to what the trade is saying. The sales team really look at what they can do and make sure the trade supports us.”
Best All-Inclusive Resort Operator: Sandals
Karl Thompson said: “It’s a great celebration for the whole team who constantly go out there and support the trade. They are crucial to our success and we thank them for helping us win this award – which we never take for granted”
Best Tourist Board: Visit Orlando
Joanna Cooke, PR director, said: “It is the first time that we have won this award. I am shaking. If you look at the list of nominees… there are some amazing tourist boards on there. With the trade, we’re very active, very committed and very passionate. We have got some fantastic supporters – like Disney, SeaWorld and Universal.”
Best Hotel Chain: Palladium
Joanne Peters, senior business development manager, said: “This is the second year that we have won it. We have grown the team and three BDMs have started today. What sets us apart are the services that we offer and how we work with the trade.”
Best Rail Company: Rocky Mountaineer
Steven Harris, regional sales director, said: “We feel a real sense of jubilation! Thank you to the trade for their huge support and here’s to a great 2020!”
Best Premium Touring Company: APT
“It feels amazing to have won and we couldn’t have done it without our incredible trade partners. This is our first Globe and now we’ve won two! It’s all down to the trade.”
Best Long-Haul Operator and Best Luxury Operator: Kuoni
Brad Bennetts, national sales manager, said: “We’re very proud to have now won two years in a row, and to have a double win this year is incredible. We’re honoured to have been voted for by the trade – we’ve been supporting them for over 50 years and this just sums up how important these partnerships really are to us.”
Best Car Rental Company – Flexible Autos
Andrea Elwell said: “We want to thank the agents so much for their support, it means so much to us to win this award.”
Best Adventure Operator: G Adventures
Tom Bell said: “Trade is core to our business so to be rewarded at one of the biggest events in the trade industry is fantastic.”
Best UK Airport: Manchester Airport
Seb Thompson said: “The whole airport is going to be absolutely thrilled. A massive thank you to the agents that vote for us, it’s so humbling for us to be back again, to pick up our sixth globe.”
Best Long-Haul Specialist Operator: Wendy Wu
John Warr said: “This award is voted by our partners our travel agents who have supported us all throughout the year. it means a lot for the people back in the office.”
Best Mainstream Touring Company: Trafalgar
Rachel Coffey, director of sales and business development, said: “I’m so excited. We have not won for a while and to be honest this means the most because it’s voted for by agents and that’s the most important thing because we are focused on travel agents and they are at the heart of what we do.”
Best Short-Haul Airline: Jet2.com
Alan Cross, head of trade, said: “We never take it for granted that we are going to win awards and it gets better and better. It means so much this year with everything that’s been going on and it means so much that we have the support of agents. It’s fantastic.”
Best Premium Airline and Best Long-Haul Airline: Emirates
Jon Sheppard, head commercial and national sales, said: “We are delighted with these awards. It’s all the more meaningful because it’s voted for by readers of Travel Weekly. We greatly appreciate the support we get from the trade and this evening is recognition of that.”
Best Consolidator: Gold Medal
Kerry Gallagher, director of marketing, said: “It’s amazing to win and this one means a lot because agents voted for it and we can never be more grateful for our agents. That they appreciate what we do is absolutely amazing. We are very grateful.”
Best Accommodation-Only Provider: Bedsonline
Rebecca Brett, UK and Ireland regional manager, said: “It’s amazing to win. It’s a culmination of our work out on the road building relationships with agents. In the past year we’ve tried really hard to work with agents in a more collaborative way to ensure we’re meeting their individual business needs.”
Best Technology Provider: Amadeus
Steven Love, UK retail sales director, said: “We’re over the moon. This is the fifth year in a row. It’s so important because it’s voted for by our customers – consolidators, tour operators and travel agents. In this past year we’ve been brave and made changes that we needed to make. We’re always investing in new ideas and will continue to do so.”
Best Operator for Activities: Inghams
Julie Franklin, head of agency sales, said: “We would like to say thank you for voting for us – this means the world! There are lots of exciting things coming in the next months. We have been out on the road more, and there will be more fam trips and more competitions to come.”
Best Trade Sales Team: Gold Medal and Travel 2
Nick Hughes, sales director, tour operations B2B Europe, dnata, said: “We have put more people into the sales team and seen more partners than we ever have before. We don’t take anything for granted, it’s about delivering great service. The recognition for the time and effort that the sales team put in is unbelievable.”
Best Add-Ons Provider: Do Something Different
Annabel Cove, head of trade sales and marketing, said: “We totally didn’t expect to win this award so to have been given it is a testament to the work that the team has put in to supporting the trade.
“We have listened to the trade and we have responded by removing the key barriers to sale that come with attraction tickets. Attractions are not the make or break of a holiday, they’re the thing that make people come back to the travel agency because they’re creating moments that matter.
“Two years ago we joined Abta and after the Thomas Cook collapse, we protected every single booking.”
Best Short-Haul Airline, Best Short-Haul Operator and Best Trade-Friendly Brand: Jet2holidays
Head of trade Alan Cross said: “To win three awards has made our night. It shows that what we are doing with agents is working; it’s a win-win.”
To win the Best Trade-Friendly Brand was particularly important to the company, he added. “This is where our focus is, on independent travel agents,”
“This is a great start to the year and we plan to strengthen our sales team to work with agents in the next couple of months. There will be more people on the road talking to agents.”
Best Insurance Provider: Holiday Extras
Harriet Small, insurance partnership lead, said: “This means the world to us. We want to thank agents for continued support.”
Best UK Holidays Operator: Hoseasons
Sales director Sally Henry, said: “Hoseasons has never won this award. We are so shocked but so pleased. It makes all the work worthwhile. The people who work for us give a million and one percent and we love the trade. Finally this has translated through to winning this award.”
Best Attraction: Universal Orlando Resort
Kevin Gibson said: “It’s amazing for us to win an award voted for by travel agents. We’ve got an amazing team of five on the road all across the UK meeting agents all the time. Since 2010 we’ve opened more than 60 different attractions, from rides and hotels to parades and events so we’ve been working hard and this is a sign that it’s paying off.”
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