Seven Recognition Awards given to agents at Atas conference

Seven Atas Recognition Awards for travel agents’ efforts over the past two years were presented to the winners during the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers conference in Birmingham.

Claire Brighton, account director for Atas, announced the award winners during an evening ceremony at the city’s International Convention Centre.

“We have all faced the most difficult period in living memory for our industry, so we wanted to take this opportunity to recognise those who have managed to engage and support the touring and adventure sector with such enthusiasm during such hard times,” she told delegates.

“Our judging panel of Atas operators was so impressed by the efforts of all the agents nominated and had such a difficult job whittling down to the fabulous shortlist we have this evening.”

• The nominees for Most Engaged Agent were Amy Wright (Select Travel Holidays), Lizzie Adamson-Brown (Travel Counsellors), Jennie Watson (Greenstar Travel) and Carol Hunter (Kyle Travel).

Amy Wright was the winner, thanks to the way she embraced every part of the sector and engaged with the association and its operators.

“She also hosted a touring and adventure festival for her business in the midst of the pandemic and has continued to promote the experiences to her customers throughout,” said Brighton.

• The Sustainable Travel Award nominees were Charitable Travel, Once In A Lifetime Holidays and Working Travel Group.

The winner was Once In A Lifetime Holidays, which implemented its strategy during the pandemic.

This included technology to offer e-brochures; sustainability tips emailed to clients; ‘Sustainable Sunday’ on social media each week; and the provision of reusable water bottles for guests.

• Nominees for the Touring and Adventure Newcomer Award were Cartwright Travel, Charitable Travel and Hosted Holidays.

The winner was Charitable Travel, for various activities including own touring and adventure month on Zoom.

• The Community Champion Award shortlist was: Rose Price (Hays Travel), Steve Cox (Premier Travel) and Midcounties Cooperative.

Steve Cox was the winner, for fundraising activities over the past 19 months such as a ‘pier to pier challenge’ and fun run.

• The nominees for the Social Media Champion Award were Hosted Holidays, Darryl Gardner (Cartwright Travel) and Queensferry Travel.

The winner was Hosted Holidays (pictured), thanks to their activity across a range of social media channels and support for Atas initiatives, especially during the touring and adventure month.

• The Top Touring Agent shortlist was: Hays Travel, Travel Counsellors, Triangle Travel and Miles Morgan Travel.

The winner was Triangle Travel, for its support and plans for growth in the sector.

“They truly see the value of our sector and are committed to support Atas and our members,” said Brighton.

• The Top Adventure Agent Award shortlist was: Hays Travel, Travel Counsellors and Trailfinders.

Trailfinders was the winner, thanks to the way it “embraces the adventure sector, making it a key part of its strategy and always looking for new opportunities to weave it in further”, said Brighton.

Many prizes were also given out later in the evening, as tour operators gave agents fam trips, wine and other gifts, after a series of competitions held on the member stands during the conference trade fair.

Picture by Steve Dunlop Photographer.