BY DR. RICHARD KELLEY — This week I was thrilled and proud to learn that Outrigger Resorts was named Best Hotel/Resort Group at the Australian Federation of Travel Agents’ (AFTA) National Travel Industry Awards for Excellence in a competitive field of finalists that included global players like Accor Hotels, Club Med, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and other leading hotel chains.
AFTA represents the majority of travel agents in Australia and aims to stimulate and promote travel while upholding its members’ interests. The awards acknowledge the best of the best in the Australian travel industry with categories covering travel agencies and individual consultants, as well as the various suppliers that support them and their businesses. The event provides encouragement and recognition to the businesses and individuals that demonstrate outstanding service, marketing excellence and business insight.
Representatives from our Sydney regional sales office, Andrew Gee (regional director of sales and marketing – Australia and New Zealand), Maria Alaveras (sales manager – retail travel, wholesale and industry partners) and Juliet Hudson (sales manager – destination weddings, groups and M.I.C.E.), were on hand July 16 at The Pavilion Darling Harbour in Sydney to accept the award and honor.
“I can’t begin to say how proud I am of our Australia-based team, particularly Maria Alaveras who has an outstanding relationship with the travel industry community,” said Andrew. “This really is a tremendous acknowledgement of our hard work and commitment to this market, and we are grateful to the industry for getting behind us to make this award possible. We are a very close team with enormous passion for a wonderful values-led brand.”
Mark Simmons, vice president sales and marketing, Asia Pacific, said the award was enormously significant because the Australian outbound market is highly important to all of Outrigger’s destinations. “We are fortunate to have a phenomenal team that can generate this business,” he said. “I’m so proud to see their hard work win this tremendous honor.”
We may be a small fish in a big pond, but our hosts and those who represent Outrigger are the real ‘catch’ to our success. Congratulations and mahalo, Andrew, Maria and Juliet!