Winners were thrilled and finalists deeply honoured for the unwavering support shown by travel agents who cast their votes in the 2018 Travel Bulletin Star Awards.

The travel industry’s most prestigious awards event took place last night at the iconic Landmark Hotel in London and welcomed some of the biggest names across the travel trade. This year also marked the 22nd edition of the Star Awards and it was our biggest and best yet!

Jetset who have been sponsoring the Star Awards for the best part of a decade were also voted Star Scheduled Flight Consolidator. The company’s Adrian Smyth said: “It’s fantastic how the awards came about with agents exclusively voting and it’s the agents who drive our business. It’s great to maintain our trust with them - we’ve had a decent record at the Star Awards but we don’t take it for granted. Win, lose or draw, it’s our favourite event - the venue, the entertainment, it’s spot on!”

Alan Cross, head of trade for Jet2holidays, said: “I’ve been in the travel industry for 40-odd years and this is my first Star Awards - can you believe it? I’m the newbie! And I’m so impressed by the quality of the event, the atmosphere, the people here - it’s all about the awards. We were so excited to be nominated. Jet2 wants to keep doing what we’re doing well - to provide great family package holidays - it’s not rocket science. We’re about good quality and great value and we support the agents wherever we can.” A message that’s resonating well with agents who for voted for Jet2 to win the award for Star Family Holidays Operator.

Marc McCollin, senior business development officer for Barbados proved to be prophetic when he spoke to Travel Bulletin: “The Star Awards mean a lot to us - it’s about what the agents have to say about us and their work is appreciated. We won in 2016 and we won in 2017 - a hat trick would be nice.” The hat trick was achieved when Barbados won the award for Star Winter Sun Destination.

In addition to the wide array of cruise lines, tourism boards, hoteliers, operators and airlines in attendance Travel Bulletin was delighted to also share all the excitement of the evening with agents. The Star Escorted Tours Destination was awarded to South Africa with Rachel Lewis for South African Tourism commenting: “It’s a great night - we have had agents at our table, it has been a lot of fun and it is such an honour to win an award that was voted for by the trade.”

Birmingham Airport picked up the highly coveted award for Star UK Airport. Catherine Reeves, airport guru and travel trade executive, said: “The focus at Birmingham Airport for 2019 is mainly on customer service - we’ve gone through a lot of expansion with new routes and now the focus is on the customer experience. It’s great to be here with all the elements of the travel industry coming together - it’s a lovely night and I’m looking forward to the West End entertainment.”

Showcasing ‘The Best of Broadway’, leading lady Louise Dearman performed a selection of moving and upbeat west end classics that had attendees on their feet. Adding to the fun of the evening, accomplished comedian Rhys James - famous for his appearances on Mock The Week and the Edinburgh Fringe - helped to present the awards as our special guest and MC.

Take a look at all the winners now to see if your favourite suppliers and destinations have won at: travelbulletin.co.uk/starawards/2018-winners

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