[15 December 2015:] The Australian Federation of Travel Agents is delighted to announce a new strategic partnership with Australian Traveller Media, which will bring an exciting new element to the National Travel Industry Awards in 2016 and further bolster ATAS in the hearts and minds of consumers.
In 2016, AFTA will introduce a new award category - People’s Choice: Retail Travel Agency of the Year, which will be voted on and determined by consumers through the existing annual People’s Choice Awards program run by Australian Traveller Media. 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. Every individual ATAS accredited retail store outlet across Australia will have the chance to be the winner.
Attracting over 4,000 consumer votes in 2015, the People’s Choice Awards commands considerable media attention across print, online and social media, which exemplifies AFTA’s ongoing commitment of growing consumer awareness of ATAS.
“The new award category will be sponsored by ATAS, and will add 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,” said Jayson Westbury, AFTA Chief Executive.
“Australian consumers will be surveyed and asked to vote for their favourite Retail Travel Agency location either through the print magazines (The Australian Traveller and International Traveller magazines) or via the online survey to reveal a winner for each State followed by the overall winner who will be announced at the NTIA Gala Dinner on Saturday 16 July, 2016,” said Westbury.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with ATAS on the People's Choice: Retail Travel Agency of the Year Award. Travel agents are often the unsung heroes of incredible travel experiences and now they get the opportunity to be recognised by the most important people in this business, by the travellers themselves," said Quentin Long, Managing Director for Australian Traveller Media.
Alongside the new People’s Choice Award, the following amendments have been made to existing award categories in response to industry feedback.
NTIA 2016 Category Updates:
“These changes reflect the changing nature of the Australian travel industry and ensure that the NTIA process remains in tune with the industry and presents a more reflected and contemporary set of categories,” said Westbury
For a full list of award categories please visit >> www.afta.com.au/ntia