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The winners from the biggest-ever NTIA


Traveltalk joins the who’s who of the Australian travel industry at NTIA 2019. Here’s who won, and what the event means to the industry.

Whether you were an award winner or nominee, travel agent or tour operator, hotel or airline, presenter or sponsor, the 2019 AFTA National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) was a giant lovefest among Australia’s travel industry. 

 

Emcee Anjali Rao

 

The event, held at Sydney’s International Convention Centre (ICC) on Saturday night and hosted by prominent broadcaster Anjali Rao, was attended by more guests than ever - around 1,300 - but the evening was a celebration that went beyond the winners. 

 

In an interview with Traveltalk at NTIA, Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) chief executive Jayson Westbury, said that “equally and possibly even more important [than the awards] is to provide a format for so many people in the industry to get together, so they can talk, and chat about issues”.

 

Overall, Mr Westbury said the record size of the event was “a tribute to the industry”. 

 

“But also I think it’s demonstrating time and time again the importance that people place on being recognised by their peers and within their industry themselves ... particularly for the people - they can take it on, put it in their CV,” he said. 

 

APT picked up two awards at the event

 

In a first for the event, this year’s NTIA also incorporated the inaugural CATO Awards, which was all about consultants. 

 

“The companies are important ... but when there’s people involved ... that’s something more and more we should be doing,” he said.

 

In his opening address, Mr Westbury confirmed the reappointment of Express Travel Group CEO Tom Manwaring as Chairman of the AFTA Board, as well as Travellers Choice CEO Christian Hunter and Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner in the Vice Chair roles.

 

There was also an AFTA Lifetime Membership bestowed upon the longest serving chairman of AFTA, Mike Thompson, as well as the recognition of former AFTA director, Gary Allomes, who recently passed away.

 

Among the winners at the this years’ event were Travellers Choice (Best Travel Agency Group), Helloworld Travel Mackay & Mt Pleasant (Best Travel Agency Leisure - Multi Location), TravelManagers Australia (Best Mobile Travel Advisor Network), Rebecca Knowles (Best Travel Consultant Leisure), Kathy Millett (Best Mobile Travel Advisor), Bunnik Tours (Best Tour Operator International) and Tourism New Zealand (Best Tourist Office - International). 

 

Best Speciality Wholesaler, Entire Travel Group

 

Here’s the full list of winners:

 

Best Travel Agency Group (50 outlets or more)

- Travellers Choice

 

Best Non Branded Travel Agency Group

- Magellan Travel

 

Best Travel Agency Leisure - Single Location

- Main Beach Travel

 

Best Travel Agency Leisure - Multi Location

- Helloworld Travel Mackay & Mt Pleasant

 

Best Travel Agency Corporate - Single Location

- Complete Business Travel

 

Best Travel Agency Corporate - Multi Location

- The Travel Authority

 

Best National Corporate Travel Management Company

- Corporate Travel Management

 

Best Mobile Travel Advisor Network

- TravelManagers Australia

 

Best Online Travel Agency

- flybuys Travel

 

Best Business Events Travel Agency

- The Events Authority

 

Best Travel Consultant Leisure

- Rebecca Knowles -  Flight Centre Devonport

 

Best Travel Consultant Corporate

- Veronika Panzic - Show Group Enterprise

 

Best Travel Agency Manager - Leisure Single Location

- Debbi Ashes - Helloworld Travel Lane Cove

 

Best Travel Agency Manager - Leisure Multi Location

- Bridie Clarke italktravel & cruise East Doncaster, Fountain Gate & Mt Waverley

 

Best Travel Agency Manager - Corporate Single Location

- Christopher Goddard - Maxim's Travel

 

Best Mobile Travel Advisor

- Kathy Millett  - TravelManagers

 

Young Agent of the Year

- Annabel Edgecombe  - Flight Centre Indooroopilly

 

Best Domestic Airline

- Virgin Australia

 

Best International Airline - Online

- Air New Zealand

 

Best International Airline - Offline

- Lufthansa German Airlines

 

Best Cruise Operator - Domestic Deployment

- Royal Caribbean International

 

Best Cruise Operator - International Deployment    

- Princess Cruises

 

Best River Cruise Operator

- APT

 

Best Tour Operator - Domestic

- APT

 

Best Tour Operator - International

- Bunnik Tours

 

Best Car/Campervan Rental Operation

- Avis Australia

 

Best Tourist Office - International

- Tourism New Zealand

 

Best Specialty Wholesaler

- Entire Travel Group

 

Best Wholesaler - Australian Product

- Qantas Holidays & Viva! Holidays

 

Best Wholesaler - International Product

- Adventure World Travel

 

Best Agency Support Service

- Air Tickets

 

Best Sales Executive - Air

- Lisa Manera -  Finnair

 

Best Sales Executive - Cruise

- Richard Waugh -  P&O Cruises

 

Best Sales Executive - Land

- Kat Nitarski  - On The Go Tours

 

Best Hotel/Resort Group

- Club Med

 

Best Registered Travel Industry Training Institution                    

- William Angliss Institute

 

Best Travel Writer

- Catherine Marshall

 

Best Travel Agent Technology Innovation

- Tramada Systems - New Distribution Capability

 

Emirates Travel Consultant Scholarship

- Laura Jago - Helloworld Travel Kotara

 

People's Choice: Retail Travel Agency of the Year

- Bicton Travel

 

CATO Award: Consultant of the Year - Group Touring

- Michelle Barker - Jayes Travel

 

CATO Award: Consultant of the Year - Adventure

- Leanne Flanagan Smith  - Back Track Adventures

 

CATO Award: Consultant of the Year - F.I.T

- Michelle Barker - Jayes Travel

 

CATO Award: Consultant of the Year - Ski

- Jenny Tucker  - Travel Partners

 

 

Traveltalk is an official Media Supporter of NTIA 2019. All images by Traveltalk.

 


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 21 July 2019


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