Travel agents have proven their worth like never before in 2020 - and next year’s Top 50 initiative will recognise their extraordinary efforts.
From bringing stranded travellers home at the start of the Covid outbreak and fighting their clients’ corner on refunds to striving to keep customers informed and reassured about their travel plans – the expertise and dedication of independent travel agents has never been so clearly demonstrated.
And, as the travel sector slowly rebuilds itself over the next six months, there is an unprecedented opportunity to hammer home to consumers exactly why they should book with a travel agent next year and beyond.
The TTG Top 50 Travel Agencies initiative – now in its sixth year – has always rewarded customer service and expertise over sales, and that will be even more true for 2021, with a new, quicker assessment form.
The strong branding and local media exposure that comes with being named a TTG Top 50 Travel Agency will be key to highlighting the benefits of booking with an agent.
There are 12 regional and eight nationwide categories to enter, as well as several special categories, and all agencies need to do to be considered is register their contact details online.
Judging will take place in February 2021 via Zoom call, while a new, shortened assessment form will reduce the work required of agents to prepare for the judging session.
TTG group editor Pippa Jacks said: “We know travel agencies have been under incredible pressure this year.
“But even during the toughest moments, the nation’s best agencies have shown themselves to be tenacious, resilient and innovative.
“The TTG Top 50 Travel Agencies 2021 will recognise how agents have coped with the most difficult period in the sector’s history and, as we look ahead, will amplify to consumers exactly why they should be booking with a travel agent in the future.”
Lee Hunt, managing director of Deben Travel – last year’s UK and Ireland’s No.1 Travel Agency, said: “This will be a great opportunity for us to take stock and reflect on all our hard work this year and how we’ve looked after and supported our customers. With all the negative news at the moment, it’s nice to have something like this to lift the spirits.”
Graeme Brett, director of Westoe Travel, which was named the North East’s Top Agency last year, said: “A lot of publicity in recent months has been focused on people wanting refunds and there hasn’t been much publicity about the excellent service that agents have been giving to their customers.
"It will be great to get this information into the public domain, and to celebrate the travel agents that go above and beyond for their customers.”
The ceremony will take place on 19 March, and if we aren’t able to put on the event at the Vox in Birmingham as usual, we’ll be putting on a spectacular event online.
Confirmed supplier partners for 2021 include APT, Attraction World, Celebrity Cruises, Club Med, Gold Medal, Holiday Extras, Iberostar, Princess Cruises, Riviera Travel, Sandals, Star Alliance, TTNG, Travelsphere, Virgin Voyages and Wendy Wu Tours.
Deadline to register: 6 November 2020
Judging calls to take place: February 2021
Ceremony: 19 March 2021
For categories and to register, visit ttgtop50.com