Consumers to select Retail Travel Agency of the Year.
AFTA has just announced a new strategic partnership with consumer travel publisher Australian Traveller Media, which will see the addition of a new People’s Choice: Retail Travel Agency of the Year category to the National Travel Industry Awards in 2016.
The new category will be part of the existing annual People’s Choice Awards program run by Australian Traveller and International Traveller magazines, which this year attracted more than 4,000 consumer votes as well as considerable mainstream media attention.
“This People’s Choice Award will be aimed directly at bricks and mortar suburban travel agencies, the heartland of the travel agency community and the core of AFTA’s membership,” said AFTA ceo Jayson Westbury.
Every individual ATAS accredited retail store across Australia will be eligible to win, with the new award category sponsored by ATAS adding “a new dimension to the already extensive marketing activities undertaken by AFTA which is designed to support travel agents and drive consumer awareness about why they should book with ATAS accredited travel agents,” Westbury said.
The consumer voting process will select state winners as well as the overall national winner, which will be announced at the NTIA gala dinner on Saturday 16th July 2016.
Other changes to categories for the 2016 NTIA include a reduction in the number of stores required for the major Best Travel Agency Group category which will now only require a network of 50 outlets, to incorporate “many more potential nominations”. The new Young Agent of the Year and Young Sales Executive of the Year categories replace the previous Rookie of the Year awards, with a maximum age limit of 30 years of age applied.
And for the first time the Tour Operator and Wholesaler categories, both domestic and international, will be elevated to judged categories, with ATAS accredited tour operators and wholesalers required to present their business before a panel who will evaluate them against strict criteria.
More details in today’s issue of Travel Daily.