HomeNewsThe Great Gatsby Gala Dinner at Travel Centres Conference 2022

The Great Gatsby Gala Dinner at Travel Centres Conference 2022

There were 25 award winners at the Travel Centres Conference 2022. This year’s event has a Gatsby-themed gala dinner and awards ceremony which, in keeping with all Travel Centres conferences, included a couple of surprises along the way. This year’s entertainment was provided by Mr Jazz himself, Cary Posavitz and the fabulous Bentley Boys!

Travel Centres Award Winners

In a departure from recent years, awards were nominated by suppliers – each supplier nominated an agency in the Best Large Agent and Best Small Agent categories. The award winners were as follows:

A&G Award

Best Large Agent – Best4Travel

Best Small Agent – Hilary Murphy Travel

Breakaway.ie Award

Best Large Agent – KT Travel

Best Small Agent – Bowe Travel

Celebrity Cruises Award

Best Large Agent – Best4Travel

Best Small Agent – Travel Advisors

Crystal Ski Holidays Award

Best Large Agent – O’Hanrahan Travel

Best Small Agent – Cavan Travel

DoSomethingDifferent.com Award

Best Agent – O’Hanrahan Travel

Hertz Award

Best Large Agent – O’Hanrahan Travel

Best Small Agent – Platinum Travel

MSC Cruises Award

Best Large Agent – Magic Vacations

Best Small Agent – Newbridge Travel (Bernie accepted the award on their behalf)

Royal Caribbean International Award

Best Large Agent – O’Callaghan Travel

Best Small Agent – Ace Travel

Sunway Award

Best Large Agent – Magic Vacations

Best Small Agent – KT Travel

TUI Award

Best Large Agent – Best4Travel

Best Small Agent – Ace Travel

Best Social Media Award

Cloud 9 Travel

Best Supplier Representative

There were three nominees for best supplier representative:

  • Dave Smith, TUI
  • Jeanette Taylor, Blue Insurance
  • Lee Osborne, Bookabed

Winner: Dave Smith, TUI

Best Supplier

There were three nominees for a best supplier:

  • TUI
  • Bookabed
  • Sunway

Winner: Sunway

Two outstanding Contribution Awards

Linda McNamara (RIP January 2022) – Outstanding Contribution to Travel 

Tears flowed on stage and in the audience as the unforgettable Linda McNamara was honoured for her larger-than-life presence, her dedication and her devotion to all that knew and loved her. Not a dry eye in the house.

Eoghan Corry – Outstanding Contribution to Travel Journalism

The fantastic Eoghan Corry won a very well-deserved “Outstanding Contribution to Travel Journalism” award. Always the gentleman, he collected his award with a genuine grin. Maith thú Eoghan!

The Final Award – Dominic & Bernie from the Travel Centres Family

Congratulations to Dominic & Bernie and all those in the background who put on an exceptional conference from start to finish. The pair accepted an award from the Travel Centres family.

Best Dressed Prizes go to…

John Barrett of Magic Vacations, a worthy recipient of Best Dressed Male at the Gala Dinner. The Gatsby-themed event at the Travel Centres Conference 2022 had some stiff competition but the always a dapper, John Barrett, stole the show with a pinstripe suit, tilted fedora and million-dollar grin.

Best Dressed Female went to the glamorous suffragettes: Linda Jones from The Travel Boutique and Jackie Spain from Cloud 9. Martina Coogan presented the prizewinners with sizeable hampers to take home with them.

And so, a quote from the classic, The Great Gatsby, 

A quote from The Great Gatsby, “So we beat on boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”

Take whatever meaning you wish but for me, the travel industry tirelessly rows against the current, taking wave after wave of challenges. Our traditions, our connections with one another, and how we have weathered each storm in the past, keep us going. We are a tight-knit group that has grown up together, we have wrinkles and greying hair and memories good and bad but, above all, lasting friendships. 

The industry hasn’t had an easy ride but we’ve pulled through it together. We have each other’s backs. It’s why I wouldn’t miss this for the world, seeing all the familiar faces, the memories, the news, the lives lived happily in the meantime. 

I love conference season. Not for the glitz and glamour but to see all your faces again. And, I love that we are finally at a stage where we can celebrate our little industry in style once more.

The travel trade may be old-school, fighting the tide against online bookings in faceless algorithms but there’s a wonderful place where old-school customer service and recognised expertise have value. It’s something that will never go out of fashion. It’s in this in-between we live and thrive. 

Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen has been managing director of a media production studio for nearly 20 years working on projects for a global clientele. He has worked in the travel industry for over a decade and as a travel journalist since 2015. He is passionate about travel, film & photography. He also has a keen interest in emerging technology.
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