As I write this week’s column, the TV screens in the Travel Weekly offices are dominated by pictures of Team GB’s triumphant Olympians returning from Rio on board a specially customised British Airways Boeing 747.
It’s a fantastic feelgood story and a marketing coup for the flag-carrier – and the timing couldn’t be better as BA and its partner American Airlines join Travel Weekly for the first time to fly our very own travel agent reader stars on their own trip of a lifetime.
Over the past six years, our Cover Stars competition has rewarded more than 70 frontline travel sellers who have taken pride of place on our front covers and experienced some amazing destinations and travel products along the way.
And I’m delighted that 12 more agents will have this amazing experience as we launch Cover Stars 2017 in association with our new airline partners, our headline sponsor Texas Tourism, and our long-term makeover partner Simon Shopping Destinations.
Cover Stars really is a celebration of everything that’s good about our industry, and it is fitting that we are unveiling the details of this year’s competition as our news pages are packed with stories hailing the growth of agencies across the UK.
Just as our Olympic athletes have been lauded for their expertise, skill and dedication, so our own readers can be proud of the hours of hard graft – often unseen – that ensure their customers rate them so highly.
With the latest booking statistics also giving cause for good cheer, there are plenty of reasons to enter the key September booking period with a sense of positivity.
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