NTIA 2015 winners & pics

The night went as quickly as it came but left much to be remembered as old faves and a few new names were recognised for being among the best at this year's NTIA 2015 Awards.

The night went as quickly as it came but left much to be remembered as old faves and a few new names were recognised for being among the best at this year’s NTIA 2015 Awards.

Held at The Pavilion Darling Harbour on Saturday night, hundreds of travel agents and industry professionals dressed to the nines attended the annual Gala Dinner hosted by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA).

This year, 37 travel industry individual and businesses were awarded for their excellence and contribution to the travel industry over the last 12 months.

helloworld franchises and members dominated the agent and agency awards, winning 75 percent of the awards.

Click here for more photos from the event

The group’s member agents won six or the eight agent awards and two of the agency awards, including Rookie of the Year, which was handed to Jonathan Pichaloff; and Best Travel Consultant (Retail), won by Bicton Travel’s Phil Smethurst.  

But it was Travellers Choice that really surprised the crowd by taking out the big title ‘NTIA Agency Group of the Year’.

Chief Executive Christian Hunter said the award recognises the national retail travel group’s unique and consultative culture and its focus on supporting its members.


“This is a David versus Goliath win and a timely reminder that being a great retail travel group is not about size, it’s about service.”

Christian Hunter, Travellers Choice Chief Executive

Only three months after completely rebranding, Insider Journeys was named ‘Best Specialty Wholesaler’, which Managing Director and Co-Founder, Paul Hole attributed to the company’s excellence in customer service and continued focus in brand strengthening.


In the technology department, Amadeus won ‘Best Travel Agent Technology Innovation’.

Managing Director in the Pacific, Tony Carter said the company is ‘extremely proud’ of the win and says it’s a result of listening to customers.

“At Amadeus we pride ourselves on delivering technology that increases the productivity and profitability of our customers, and to be recognised for the Best Travel Agent Technology Innovation underpins the hard work of the entire Amadeus team.”

Tony Carter, Amadeus IT Pacific Managing Director


Check out the full list of winners below:

Rookie of the Year – Agent – Jonathan Pichaloff from helloworld Newcastle Corporate
Best Travel Consultant – retail – Phil Smethurst from Bicton Travel
Best Travel Consultant – corporate – Ric Pattaro from TravelManagers
Best Travel Agency Manager – Retail Single Location – Uschi Howard from The Travel Authority Northern Beaches
Best Travel Agency Manager – Corporate Single Location – Kerby Reimer from Complete Business Travel
Best Travel Agency Manager – Retail Multi Location – Lisa Tjandi from helloworld Hunter Travel Group
Best Travel Agency Manager – Corporate Multi Location – Kingsley Dawes from Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Best Travel Agency – Retail Single Location – Bicton Travel
Best Travel Agency – Retail Multi Location – helloworld Hunter Travel Group/RACT Travel
Best Travel Agency – Corporate Single Location – Goldman Travel Corporation
Best Travel Agency – Corporate Multi Location – World Travel Professionals
Best Business Events Travel Agency – Event Travel Management
Best National Travel Management Company – FCm Travel Solutions
Best Travel Agent Technology Innovation – Amadeus Ticket Changer by Amadeus IT Pacific
Best Travel Writer – Louise Goldsbury
Best Registered Travel Industry Training Institution – Franklyn Scholar
Best Hotel Resort Group – Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts
Rookie of the Year – Supplier – Cam McDonell from G Adventures
Best Sales Executive – Industry Supplier – Stella Hritis from Trafalgar
Best Agency Support Service – Cover-More Travel Insurance
Best Tourist Office – International – Dubai Tourism
Best International Airline – Offline – Finnair
Best International Airline – Online  – Emirates
Best Domestic Airline – Qantas Airways
Best Car/Campervan Rental Operator – Hertz
Best Online Travel Agency – Global Journeys
Best Specialty Wholesaler – Insider Journeys
Best Tour Operator – Domestic – APT
Best Wholesaler – Australian Product – Infinity Holidays
Best Tour Operator – International – APT
Best Wholesaler – International Product – Infinity Holidays
Best Cruise Ship – Domestic Deployment – Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice
Best River Cruise Operator – APT
Best Cruise Operator – International Deployment – Royal Caribbean International
Emirates Travel Consultant Scholarship – Jamie-Lee Holloway from helloworld Kotara
Best Non-Branded Travel Agency Group – Magellan Travel Group
Best Travel Agency Group – Travellers Choice

Biggest congratulations to all of this year’s winners.