Irish travel awards a fly-away success

Dublin Airport, Spain, Italy and USA all recognised in different categories

Carl Mullan MC and Sharon Jordan Managing Director ITTN Group

The prestigious Irish Travel Trade Network (ITTN) Awards took place in the Clayton Hotel in Dublin on November 24 with the cream of the Irish Travel Outbound Industry represented at the star-studded event.

More than 30 awards were handed out across a multitude of categories recognising the best in the industry and celebrating an incredible year for Irish travel Outbound.

Managing Director, Sharon Jordan paid tribute to the crucial role played by ITTN, and offered congratulations to the many worthy award nominees and winners on the night. She said: “Ireland’s Travel Trade Network has been providing Ireland’s travel industry, north and south, with independent and insightful, professional reporting for over 55 years.

“We are delighted to bestow these awards on the thirty-two companies and wish to recognise the effort made by every company who entered the awards. We wish each and every company the best for the future.”

In the Airlines category, which was sponsored by Silver Sea Cruises, both Aer Lingus and Emirates secured two wins, with Aer Lingus picking up awards for Best Airline to Europe and Best Airline to North America, while Emirates secured Best Airline – Long Haul and Best Airline Business Class.

Dublin Airport was awarded top billing as Best Airport in the Destinations & Airport category, sponsored by Virgin Atlantic, with titles also awarded to the Spanish Tourist Office for Best Tourist Office and Best Destination Europe claimed by Italy. Best Destination Worldwide was bestowed on the USA.

Some of the biggest names in the industry were recognised in the Tour Operators category, with Sunway Holidays winning Best Long haul Operator and Topflight scooping Best Ski Operator.

Best Sun Tour Operator was awarded to TUI and TTC Tour Brands named Best Touring & Adventure Operator in the category which was sponsored by Hertz Car hire.

Other hotly contested categories included the Cruise awards, sponsored by Aer Lingus, where a total of five titles were awarded, representing the ever increasing offering being made available in cruise holidays.

Best Premium Cruise company was awarded to Princess Cruises, Best Mainstream Cruise Company secured by Royal Caribbean and MSC was named Best Family Cruise Company. The award for Best Luxury Cruise Company was won by Celebrity Cruises with Best River Cruise Company awarded to Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.

In the category of Transport, Accommodation & Insurance, sponsored by Salou, Irish Ferries took home the title of Best Ferry Company and Hertz secured Best Car Rental Company. Iberostar, Bookabed and Blue insurance also scooped prizes for Best Hotel Group, Best Bedbank and Best Insurance Provider respectively.

There were also gongs awarded in recognition of those who had gone the extra mile in Sustainability and Culture, a category sponsored by the Spanish Tourist Office, with both MSC Cruises and Sunway Holidays securing their second wins of the night. MSC Cruises was named Leaders in Sustainability and Sunway Supplier of the Year.

In total, eight top travel agencies secured titles under the Agent Awards with Best4Travel named Travel Agency of the Year, sponsored by Blue Insurance. Other winners included Icon Travel (Travel Agency of the Year Ski, sponsored by Crystal Ski), Fahy Travel (Travel Agency of the Year Cruise, sponsored by Marella Cruises), Platinum Travel (Travel Agency of the Year Luxury, sponsored by Iberostar), Discover Travel (Travel Agency of the Year Long Haul, sponsored by Turkish Airlines), O’Hanrahan Travel (Travel Agency of the Year Sun, sponsored by Sunway), Club Travel (Travel Agency of the Year Corporate, sponsored by Emirates) and Travel Escapes (Travel Agency of the Year Touring, sponsored by TTC Tour Brands).

The awards night is a key date in the events calendar for the ITTN Group which has expanded considerably since its acquisition in 2020 Sharon Jordan. As well at its travel trade news site, ittn.ie, there is also the newly launched consumer focused traveltimes.ie, which covers outbound travel tips and deals, travel2ireland.ie which covers what’s on and where to go in Ireland and styleshop.ie which covers style tips for Irish fashionistas.

It has also recently acquired Silk Prestige, the sustainable flower company which offers corporate clients a luxurious and sustainable alternative to real cut flowers.