Friday night heralded the coming of Christmas for the Irish travel industry with 350 industry representatives enjoying the 24th Irish Travel Trade Awards Gala Dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin – Burlington Road.
The evening was particularly good for the winners of 55 prizes awarded – the ITTN Industry Achievement Award, the ITTN Travel Agency of the Year Awards, the ITTN+EMIRATES Travel Photographer of the Year Awards, 25 Irish Travel Trade Awards, the ITTN Voter’s Prize, and 17 Raffle Prizes including air tickets and holidays for two.
Above, all the winners of 2015 Irish Travel Trade Awards celebrate on stage at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin – which is also the venue for next year’s ‘Oscars’ on Friday 25th November 2016.
The event was sponsored by Blue Insurance, Dublin Airport Authority, Emirates, Grant Thornton, Hertz, Las Vegas CVA, Malta Tourism Authority, Red Sea Holidays, Salou Tourist Board, Shannon Airport, Silversea, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tourism Malaysia, Turkish Airlines and Wendy Wu Tours, with the Spanish Tourism Office organising sponsorship of the wines by Andalucia Tourist Board.
The evening began with attendees being welcomed by n’ICE stilt walkers and the 4 In A Bar acapella group, and, at the end of the evening, entertained by Carey Positivitz & The Players.
Sunway was the big winner this year, collecting three category awards for ‘Best Sun Holiday Tour Operator’, ‘Best Long Haul Tour Operator’, and ‘Best Agency Friendly Company’, while Tanya Airey, Managing Director, won the 2015 ITTN Industry Achievement Award – and also a standing ovation.
Two new awards were introduced this year, with Lee Osborne being declared a very popular ‘Best Agent Friendly Individual’ and ‘Best Newcomer’ having two joint winners: Red Sea Holidays and Wendy Wu Tours.
In other categories, Aer Lingus and Emirates each won two airline awards, Silversea took the ‘Best Luxury Cruise Company’, Railshop.ie won ‘Best Rail Company’, and, perhaps generating the most gasps during the proceedings, Crystal Ski overtook long-time title holder Topflight to claim ‘Best Ski Tour Operator’.