FLIGHT Centre has taken out the Best Travel Agency Group (50 agents or more) category in the 2018 National Travel Industry Awards, with the accolade among 38 awards to top agents and industry suppliers during Sat night’s NTIA gala dinner at the ICC Sydney (TD breaking news).
It was Flight Centre’s first win in the category since 2013, with chief operating officer Melanie Waters-Ryan saying “it’s a humbling honour to win”.
Helloworld Business Travel took out the Best Non-Branded Travel Agency Group, while Helloworld offshoot MTA Travel was the first-time winner of the new Best Travel Broker Network category.
About 1,400 guests gathered for the event, which featured a tribute to Consolidated Travel founder Spiros Alysandratos (see page two) and entertainment from crooner Anthony Callea.
Alison Webster, ceo of Qantas International, welcomed guests on behalf of the carrier which was the night’s major sponsor, and was also on hand later in the night to accept the Best Domestic Airline award.
Singapore Airlines won the Best International Airline – Online category, while Finnair was once again victorious as Best International Airline – Offline for the sixth year in a row.
There was double delight for Helloworld Lane Cove where owner Debbi Ashes was named Best Travel Agency Manager – Retail Single Location while daughter Courtney took out the Young Agent of the Year category.
Other big winners included APT, Adventure World, Intrepid, Qantas Holidays, Royal Caribbean, Phil Hoffmann Travel, Bench Africa, Bicton Travel, Avis and Corporate Travel Management.
See page eight for some photos of the night, with more from the NTIAs all this week in Travel Daily.