The Globe Travel Awards – Winners Announced

Amidst the doom and gloom of the media, the UK travel industry have something to celebrate as The Globe Travel Awards, recognise and reward the best in the British travel industry.

The Globe Travel Awards are quite unique as they are voted for by the travel industry – every award presented has been validated by the travel industry as being the best in their field.

For the past 32 years, the Globes have recognised and rewarded the travel industry’s leading companies, most innovative ideas and the strongest performers – winning a Globe has embodied the highest standards within every area of the travel industry. It is the travel agents who vote for the winner, ensuring the highest standards and the ultimate service is recognised.

During three weeks in September, readers of Travel Weekly were invited to nominate any company to appear on the final nomination list for the 40 Globe Travel Awards.

The final nomination list was launched on 21st November 2008, where travel agents vote for their favourite air travel company, cruise and ferry provider, coach and rail company, add-ons and extras, travel recruitment company, technology and on-line provider, accommodation and resorts, tourism and tour operators.

Readers of Associated Newspapers will be able to vote in the Consumer Awards for Favourite Cruise Company, Favourite Airline, Best Rail Operator, Favourite European Short Break Provider, Best Online Booking Website, Favourite Hotel Chain, Favourite Long Haul Operator and Favourite Package Provider.

The evening got off to a fantastic start with a Champagne Reception sponsored by Tourism Australia, which was followed by a gourmet dinner and wines sponsored by Attraction World. Attendees were then entertained by leading media personality and star of Eight out of Ten Cats and Mock the Week, Michael McIntyre before the winners of the awards were announced. Entertainment was provided by the uplifting London Community Gospel Choir and Soul Diva Gwen Dickey of Rose Royce.

This year there were three special awards – The Innovation in Travel Award which was won by British Airways for their iphone application, which was the first from any airline and timed to coincide with the launch of the iphone 3G. The application was a real success, improving the customer experience from accessing flight timetables to real time flight information.

Within a short time the service received 60,000 downloads spread across 61 different countries. The Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to John Hays of Hays Travel the UK’s largest independent travel agent. John started his business in 1980 from a small room at the back of his Mum’s children’s wear shop. Now almost 30 years later Hays Travel has 34 branches and was recognised as one of the Sunday Times 100 best companies to work in.

John funded the growth of his business through its profits, establishing an ingenuity and creativity, which characterises both him and his business. John is a people person, and is passionate about his team inviting them to his home for an annual garden party.

For 2009, The Globe Travel Awards are launching a new award – The Unsung Hero Award has been introduced to recognise the people who work behind the scenes and are very often not recognised or rewarded. The 2009 Unsung Hero’s Award was presented to the family of Penny Akam. Penny worked with Travel Weekly for many years and was instrumental in the organisation of The Globe Travel Awards.

Last year Penny was taken ill, and sadly passed away in December – The Unsung Hero Award is a fitting tribute to Penny who has a tremendous passion for the travel industry and worked tirelessly to make sure the Globes is the fantastic event it is today.

The entertainment didn’t finish when the awards presentation was over, as attendees tried to win ‘big money prizes’ with the Avis Scratch Card, partied until the wee small hours at the after awards party sponsored by Tourism Australia or spent time relaxing and chatting in the Chill & Meet Bar sponsored by C&M Recruitment.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better start to 2009 for the Travel Industry,” commented TW Publishing Director Simon Ferguson.

“Each year the Globes get bigger and better and the British travel industry really get behind the awards. Winning a Globe Travel Award really sets companies apart from their competition. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners, the standards you set and the service you provide is exemplary.”

The 2009 Globe Travel Award Winners

Innovation in Travel – British Airways

Outstanding Achievement in Travel – John Hays

Best Ferry Company – P&O Ferries

Best Cruise Company – 3 star plus – Fred Olsen Cruise Line

Best Cruise Company – 4 star plus – Royal Caribbean International

Best Specialist Cruise Company – Hurtigruten

Best Cruise Company – Luxury – Silversea Cruises

Best Scheduled Airline to US/Canada – Virgin Atlantic
Best Scheduled Airline to The Pacific, New Zealand or Australia – Emirates

Best Scheduled Airline to the Middle East or Asia – Emirates

Best Scheduled Airline to Europe – British Airways
Best Scheduled Airline to Africa – Emirates

Best Charter Airline – Monarch Airlines

Best Rail Operator – Eurostar

Best Travel Trade Website –
Best Seat Only Operator – Avro

Best Scheduled Consolidator – Gold Medal Travel

Best Accommodation Only Provider –

Best Business Hotel Chain – Hilton

Best Leisure Hotel Chain – RIU

Best All Inclusive Resort – Sandals

Best Tourist Board (UK Office) – Australia
Best Coach Operator – Shearings Holidays

Best Theme Park – Walt Disney World Resort Florida

Best Insurance Provider – Holiday Extras

Best Car Rental Company – Holiday Autos

Best Regional UK Airport – London Gatwick

Best Add-ons Provider – Attraction World

Best Technology Provider – Amadeus

Best Dynamic Packaging Operator – Gold Medal Travel
Best Recruitment Consultancy – Travel Trade Recruitment

Best TWAcademy On-line Training Course – Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing

Best Specialist Operator – Middle East – Kuoni

Best Specialist Operator – US or Canada or the Caribbean – Virgin Holidays

Best Specialist Operator – Far East or The Pacific, Australia or New Zealand – Kuoni
Best Specialist Operator – Africa – Somak

Best Operator – Long Haul – Kuoni

Best Operator Ski/Activity – Crystal Holidays
Best Operator – Short Breaks – Superbreak

Best Operator – UK Holidays – Superbreak

Best Operator – Western Mediterranean – Thomson Holidays

Best Operator – Eastern Mediterranean – Thomson Holidays

Consumer Awards

Favourite Cruise Company – P&O Cruises

Favourite Airline – Virgin Atlantic

Best Rail Operator – Virgin Trains

Favourite Hotel Chain – Hilton

Favourite European Short-Break Provider – Thomas Cook Signature

Best Online Booking Website –

Favourite Long-Haul Operator – Virgin Holidays

Favourite Package Holiday Provider – Thomas Cook

For further information on the Globe Travel Awards or to interview any of the category winners or TW Publishing Director, Simon Ferguson please contact Alison Jameson or Annabel Craigie on 0131 621 7210, fax 0131 621 7215 or email; [email protected]