February 20, 2019

It’s an exciting time of year for Australia’s travel industry. Nominations have been cast for the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) and the cream of the Australian industry’s crop—both people and businesses—will be recognised once again across dozens of categories.

The AFTA National Travel Industry Awards acknowledge the best of the best – with categories covering travel agencies and individual consultants, as well as the numerous suppliers which support them and their businesses.

These awards provide recognition for the travel industry’s highest achievers who demonstrate outstanding service, marketing and business acumen excellence.
Until recently, the awards were entirely industry-centric, with the industry itself effectively recognising its brightest and best. But an award category addition to the NTIA gala has shifted that focus. The People’s Choice: Retail Travel Agency of the Year category encourages consumers to vote for their favourite ATAS-accredited travel agency.

“We are committed to ensuring that consumers know they can rely on ATAS travel agents to advise, book and manage their travel The People’s Choice category is a genuine extension of that. We truly welcome the contribution that the clients of ATAS-accredited travel agents are now making to the NTIAs through the People’s Choice category”, says AFTA Chief Executive, Jayson Westbury.

Not only is the People’s Choice category a wonderful way to recognise some of the best travel agents in the country, but it’s also an incredible way for travel agents to say ‘thanks’ to their clients. And when we say ‘thanks’ we mean that each voter will go in the draw to win an 11 Day APT Kimberley Coast Cruise for two people valued at $23,500.

Beautiful Kimberley Coast Cruise with APT day excursion

“It’s an astonishingly generous prize from NTIA Gold Sponsor and Prize Partner, APT”, says Mr Westbury from AFTA.

The winner of The 2018 People’s Choice Retail Travel Agency of the Year was Bicton Travel, Perth.

“There have been numerous milestones in the history of Bicton Travel. We have won numerous industry awards and accolades (including Best Travel Agency Retail – Single Location of the Year multiple times) but, for us, the People’s Choice Award is the ultimate recognition”, says Carole Smethurst, founder and owner of Bicton Travel.

2018 winner of the People’s Choice Retail Travel Agency of the Year – Bicton Travel, Perth.

What makes this award so special?

“It’s the travelling public recognising the Bicton Travel team for their dedication and commitment to make a world of difference to every holiday we are entrusted with”, adds Carole.

When asked about the importance of the National Travel Industry Awards, Carole said, “The National Travel Industry Awards is the night-of-nights for the travel industry. It really makes you appreciate what a dynamic industry we are part of, and that even a small family-run agency in Western Australia can compete with the larger global brands.”

And what about after the NTIA gala?

“We proudly use the ATAS logo and our awards in promotional material to remind existing and new clients that they are dealing with one of the best travel specialists in Australia”, says Carole.

The voter who wins the major prize from APT this year will find themselves on a Kimberley Coast Cruise from Broome to Darwin aboard MS Island Sky. The cruise itinerary takes in the spectacular Horizontal Falls, Montgomery Reef, and King George River & Falls—the highest in Western Australia.

2019 prize up for grabs with APT for a 11 day Kimberley Coast Cruise.

The 11 day APT Kimberley Coast Cruise includes:

  • All-inclusive sightseeing in 16 destinations
  • Expert 10-member APT Expedition Team and Leader
  • All meals and all-day beverages
  • 10-night cruise aboard your elegant small ship
  • Daily excursions on Zodiac vessels
  • Airport transfers, port charges, sightseeing and park fees

Voting is open now, and we urge you to vote for your favourite Australian travel agency.

So, how do you vote for your favourite ATAS travel agency?

There are two ways:

  1. Purchase any Australian Traveller or International Traveller Magazine. Complete the survey and mail to Reply Paid 85483, Suite 101 15 Belvoir St, SURRY HILLS NSW 2010, or
  2. Vote online at www.internationaltraveller.com/travel-agency-of-the-year-2019

Voting closes on 31 May 2019.

The ATAS travel agency with the most votes will be crowned the People’s Choice: Retail Travel Agency of the Year at this years’ National Travel Industry Awards gala dinner in the Grand Ballroom at Sydney’s International Convention Centre on 20 July.

Who will you vote for?

Your ATAS travel agent can help ensure you are set to take off your next adventure, but here are a few travel warnings and useful tips to keep in mind.

ATAS travel agents recommend that Australia passport holders register for travel alerts before they travel.

ATAS accredited travel agents, experience you can trust.


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