Over 140 travel professionals attended the prestigious 2017 Travel Counsellors Ireland conference, which took place at the five-star Fota Island Resort in Cork. The two-day event, from March 9-10, included a keynote address by prominent fashion stylist, broadcaster and entrepreneur Sonya Lennon. Cork-based Travel Counsellor Sarah McCarthy was also awarded the top prize for the eighth year in a row, reaching unprecedented sales of €12.5 million in the past decade.
Speaking at the conference, General Manager of Travel Counsellors Ireland Cathy Burke said; “This year’s event is focused on the theme ‘My TC’, highlighting the personal service the 65 Travel Counsellors across the country offer to their clients. They each have an exceptional depth of knowledge and expertise and always go one step further for their customers.”
Discussing the latest developments in the travel industry were representatives from 45 companies, including Etihad, Celebrity Cruises, Travelport, and Aer Lingus. Travel Counsellors’ Director of Digital and Innovation Waseem Haq provided insight into the latest digital tools available to Travel Counsellors.
A black-tie ceremony, with the pre-dinner drinks sponsored by Silversea Cruises, concluded the conference, which celebrated the very best talent within Travel Counsellors’ Irish network of franchisees.
Speaking on her win as Best Travel Counsellor, Sarah McCarthy stated: “It is an incredible honour to receive such a prestigious award for the eighth year in a row. After deciding in 2006 to join Travel Counsellors, I have never looked back. It is such a rewarding career being part of such a forward-thinking and dynamic travel company.”
Picking up Best Newcomer was Diane Bowman, Kilkenny while Best Business Increase went to Kathy O’Sullivan and Sue Cahill, Wexford. Meath winners included Lorraine Lawless, for Best Corporate and Sharon Tiernan Murphy for Most Helpful TC.
The award for the Travel Counsellor who best utilises the company’s in-house dynamic packaging system Phenix went to Jeanette Coughlan, Maynooth; while Douglas Hastings picked up Best Cruise. Other award winners included Mary Foyle, Cork and Jennifer O’Brien, Dublin.
Cathy added: “The awards ceremony is a chance for us to celebrate the successes of the past year. With a passion for travel, and commitment to sourcing and tailoring the best holidays for their clients, this year’s winners are thoroughly deserving recipients.”