The elegant Slieve Donard Resort & Spa in Newcastle, County Down played host to the 29th annual Northern Ireland Travel & Tourism Awards, sponsored by Blue Insurance.
The awards – the first to be held since 2019 because of the pandemic – reflected the tumult of the last 20 months, with some categories replaced by new ones to recognise the challenging times we live in.
The most obvious example was the introduction of the Unsung Hero Award, which sought to recognise the sterling efforts of agents who went far beyond the call of duty during the pandemic.
The award went to Anne Moffett of Dunlop Travel in Newcastle, County Down. Not only did she do fabulous work in promoting her business on social media, but she travelled the length and breadth of the province to find new customers and was tireless in her efforts on behalf of existing customers.
ANITA’s Damien Murphy won the 2021 NI Travel Special Award for his efforts representing the agents during the pandemic.
His ongoing efforts, along with those of ANITA member Tracy Duffy, earned them the NI Travel Industry Award, while Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance (NITA)’s Dr Joanne Stuart OBE was given the Northern Ireland Tourism Special Achievement Award 2021.
Well done to Northern Ireland Travel News for organising the awards and to all of the sponsors for ensuring that they could take place.
And of course a huge congratulations from everyone at ITTN to all of the winners, the complete list of which is below:
- Best Visitor Information Centre 2021 – Visit Belfast
- Best NI Visitor Attraction 2021 – Titanic Belfast
- NI Tourism Industry Award 2021 – Tourism Ireland / Tourism NI
- NI Special Achievement Award 2021 – Dr Joanne Stuart OBE
- Best Luxury Cruise Line 2021 – Silversea Cruises
- Best River Cruise Line 2021 – Riviera Cruises
- Best Cruise Line 2021 – Royal Caribbean International
- Best Travel Insurance Company 2021 – Blue Insurance
- Best Destination Award 2021 – Spain
- Best Ferry Company 2021 – Stena Line
- Best UK Airline 2021 – easyJet
- Best Airline to Europe 2021 – Jet2.com
- Best Airline Worldwide 2021 – Emirates
- Best Holiday Add-Ons or Car Hire Provider 2021 – Do Something Different
- Best Ski Operator 2021 – Travel Solutions/ Balkan Ski
- Best Escorted Tours Operator 2021 – Travel Solutions
- Best Tour Operator to Europe 2021 – Jet2holidays
- Best Hotel Group 2021 – Palladium Hotel Group
- Best Accommodation Only Specialist 2021 – STUBA
- Best Worldwide Tour Operator 2021 – Gold Medal
- Best Specialist Tour Operator 2021 – Travel Solutions
- Best Trade Engagement Award 2021 – Jet2holidays
- Best Trade Innovation Award 2021 – Jet2holidays
- NI Travel Special Award 2021 – Damian Murphy
- NI Travel Industry Award 2021 – ANITA
- NI Travel Agent Unsung Hero Award 2021 – Anne Moffett
- Outstanding Trade Support Award 2021 – Kathryn Davies
- Northern Ireland Travel Agent of the Year 2021 – Oasis Travel, Lisburn