Clodagh Dooley reports on the premier awards for suppliers and travel agents in Ireland, which took place at the Mansion House, Dublin last Thursday
It’s one of the most anticipated nights of the year for those in the travel industry, when all come together to celebrate excellence among travel professionals and providers at the Irish Travel Industry Awards.
And there was a great buzz in the Mansion House, Dublin, as this was the first time after the pandemic that the annual awards took place. The esteemed awards were organised on behalf of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) by Business Exhibitions Limited with headline sponsor MSC Cruises, and were attended by Irish and international travel professionals in the Mansion House, Dublin.
I was kindly invited to the event as a guest of Visit Malta (whom I travelled to Malta with back in September 2021). So it was great to catch up and hear that Malta has returned to its pre-pandemic level of travellers.
As we chatted, drank wine and ate our delicious set three-course meal, host Eoghan Corry announced all the winners of the various award categories.
Cassidy Travel was crowned ITAA Travel Agency of the Year 2023 with over ten employees, whilst Travel Escapes was named the ITAA Travel Agency of the Year 2023, with under ten employees. Another big win was for Club Travel who won ITAA Corporate Travel Agency of the Year.
Valerie Metcalfe formerly from FCM won the Contribution to the Travel Industry Award. Josie Carrigy from Arrow Tours won the Rising Star Award, Michelle Mc Manus from Best 4 Travel won the Shining Star Award, and Galina Urban from Cassidy Travel won the Behind-The-Scenes-Champion Award.
Speaking at the awards, Paul Hackett, President of the ITAA, said, “The awards offer the ITAA an opportunity to acknowledge and honour the exceptional work in the travel industry. This is the 11th year of the awards and what a great return after our enforced three-year break.
“I wish to congratulate all winners for your truly deserved awards. We recognise your outstanding work in 2022, as well as your contribution to the trade for the past three years.”
Award categories are sponsored by MSC Cruises, Dublin Airport, Germany Tourist Office, Spanish Tourist Office, Shannon Airport, Princess Cruises, Cork Airport, APT Travel Marvel, McCarthy Insurance Group, Hertz, Royal Caribbean International and Emirates. The event is also sponsored by Mediahuis.
Here is a full list of the winners at the Irish Travel Industry Awards 2023:
ITAA MEMBER AWARDS
Contribution to the Travel Industry Award – Sponsored By Cork Airport
ITAA Member People Awards – Sponsored By Emirates
Rising Star Award: Josie Carrigy from Arrow Tours
Shining Star Award: Michelle Mc Manus from Best 4 Travel
Behind-The-Scenes- Champion: Galina Urban from Cassidy Travel
ITAA Member Travel Agency Award – Sponsored by Shannon Airport
ITAA Corporate Travel Agency of the Year award: Club Travel
ITAA Travel Agency of the year award (over 10 employees): Cassidy Travel
ITAA Travel Agency of the year (under 10 employees): Travel Escapes
Excellence in Air Travel – Sponsored By Dublin Airport
Airline of the Year – Ireland to Europe: Aer Lingus
Airline of the Year – Ireland to North America: Aer Lingus
Airline of the Year – Best long-haul airline originating from Ireland: Emirates
Airline of the Year – Best Business Class: Emirates
Tour Operator Award Category – Sponsored By Hertz
Best European Tour Operator of the Year: TUI
Ski Tour Operator of the Year: Crystal Ski
Best Irish Owned Tour Operator: Classic Resorts
Long Haul Tour Operator: Classic Resorts
Excellence in Cruise Category – Sponsored By German National Tourist Office
Mainstream Cruise Line of the Year: Royal Caribbean
Premium Cruise Line of the Year: Celebrity Cruises
Ultra Luxury Cruise Line of the Year: Silver Sea Cruises
River Cruise Line of the Year: Uniworld Cruises
Industry Service Provider Category – Sponsored by Princess Cruises
Technology Provider of the Year: Amadeus
Car Hire Company of the Year: Hertz
Travel Insurance Provider of the Year: Blue Insurance
Tourist Board of the Year: Spanish Tourism Board
Accommodation Provider of the Year: Book A Bed
Ferry Company of the Year: Irish Ferries
Excellence In Trade Relations Category – Sponsored by Spanish Tourism Board
Airline Trade Team Of The Year: Aer Lingus
Travel Trade Team Of The Year: Classic Resorts
Cruise Trade Team Of The Year: Princess Cruises
Destinations Category – Sponsored by McCarthy Insurance Group
Best Worldwide city destination: New York
Best Summer destination: Spanish Tourism Board
Best Winter destination: Lanzarote
Best Ski Destination: Andorra
Best Worldwide Theme Park: Universal Orlando Resort
For more information on the awards event, see www.irishtravelindustryawards.com
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