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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



Best Tour Operator - Domestic



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.


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 21 July 2019

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