Gold Medal and Travel 2 are preparing to launch their “biggest ever” peaks campaign, boss Lisa McAuley has revealed.
Speaking to partners at the trade-only brands’ annual Agent Recognition Awards, McAuley, managing director tour operations B2B at Dnata Travel Europe, thanked agents for their support during “a year of incredible change” across the travel sector.
Beginning with a record sales performance for Gold Medal and Travel 2 in January, McAuley charted a challenging year to date with the industry facing a number of high profile hurdles – including the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka in April, the failure of Super Break in August and the demise of Thomas Cook a month later.
She said “the travel landscape changed for ever” with Cook’s collapse on the morning of 23 September, describing the ensuing week dealing with the aftermath as “the most difficult of my 32-year travel career”.
“The support you [agents] gave us during that time was unbelievable and I will be eternally grateful,” McAuley added.
Despite hurdles in the marketplace, Gold Medal and Travel 2 saw passenger numbers rise 6% and 7% in 2019, with Gold Medal’s turnover up 4.7% and Travel 2’s rising by 5.2%.
Gold Medal’s five top-selling destinations were Florida, Dubai, New York, Maldives and Las Vegas, while Florida, Dubai, Singapore, New York and Sydney were those of its sister brand.
Across its specialist brands, Gold Medal’s Pure Luxury sales were up 22.5%, cruise revenue grew by 16.3% and groups saw a 15% increase.
The event, held at Jacobean mansion, Crewe Hall, welcomed more than 90 agents contesting 39 categories.
Among the regional winners was Moorelands Travel, named the top agency in Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man, while in the North East, Andrew Earles Holidays took home the silverware.
The Travel Village Group claimed top agency in the North West and Cannon Travel beat off competition in East Anglia to scoop its regions prize.
Central England Agency of the Year was won by Guru, Secret Escapes was named London’s top agency and La Vida took home Wales and South West Agency of the Year.
In the nationwide categories, Bryton Travel was named Travel 2 High Street Agency of the Year, while La Vida claimed its second win of the evening after scooping Gold Medal High Street Agency of the Year.
Travel 2 Agency Group of the Year went to Clubworld Travel and Cannon Travel also bagged its second gong with Gold Medal Agency Group of the Year.
Both Travel 2 and Gold Medal’s Large Agency of the Year awards went to Welsh-based miniples and were scooped by Tailor Made Travel and Polka Dot Travel.
Not Just Travel was named Travel 2’s Homeworking Agency of the Year, while Gold Medal’s award went to Midcounties Cooperative Travel.
Among the homeworking agencies nominated was the now-defunct Freedom PTA group.
Paying tribute to the efforts of former Freedom members and staff – several of which were in attendance now in new roles – Nick Hughes, Gold Medal and Travel 2 sales director, said it “just would not feel right” not to celebrate the work of Freedom agents.
Homeworker of the Year went to We Do Travel.
Secret Escapes claimed its second award of the night after taking home Gold Medal’s Online Travel Agency of the Year, with Cruise2 scooping Travel 2’s equivalent accolade.
The Travel Network Group was named Travel 2’s Partner of the Year and Midcounties Cooperative claimed Gold Medal’s Partner of the Year gong.
Find contacts in TTG's Little Black Book
Gold Medal and Travel 2 are trade-only operators providing you with access to over 100,000 hotels, all major airlines, touring, cruise, groups and luxury, all at the most competitive prices in the market.