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And the winners are announced!

We were delighted to announce the winners of AWTE’s Annual Chair Awards tonight at the Cavendish Hotel in London’s Mayfair.  In addition to the three categories (AWTE Honorary Award, Business Impact Award and Company Award) five women from the industry were invited to join the prestigious AWTE Influential Women in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Honours list.

The headline sponsor at this year’s event is the British Travel Awards (BTA’s).  Lorraine Barnes Burton, CEO of the British Travel Awards said, “The BTAs have supported the AWTE in various ways over the years, and so we are delighted to be the headline sponsors for this year’s AWTE Chair Awards. Being a majority female-led business, we are always happy to promote and recognise women in travel who go the extra mile to achieve their working goals and enhance the careers of their female co-workers. AWTE organises a number of events aimed at networking and encouraging women in travel, it’s great to celebrate with so many of the AWTE membership and their colleagues at this year’s Chair Awards and show our support for some of the most prolific women in travel today.”

The Company Award, intended to celebrate a business’ commitment to gender equality by encouraging female staff to have the opportunity to reach their potential, went to Brighter Group and Debbie Flynn was delighted to collect on behalf of the Company. The Business Impact Award, designed to award the heights of innovation in business, went to Kirsty Sando from Heathrow Express who has made a great positive impact in her company and finally, the Honorary Award went to Lindsay Garvey Jones, from Holiday Extras with several nominations to say how much she supports others in the industry.

The evening of celebration continued with the announcement of five women who were nominated by members for their influence and contribution within their sector and have shown strong leadership, the new inductees to the honours list are

  • Sarah Johnson, Lotus
  • Lorraine Barnes Burton, BTA
  • Carol Dray, Visit Britain
  • Simone Buckey, ITM
  • Deirdre Wells OBE, UK Inbound

They join the existing 65 women on the Honours List’ that was created to celebrate AWTE’s 60th Anniversary year in 2014. Each year we will add five more at the annual awards ceremony. (see the attachment below for the full list of all 70)

Debbee Dale, chair of AWTE said, “Every year we are bowled over by the standard of entries for the Chair Awards.  This year’s shortlist made the job of choosing a winner extremely challenging, as all of the women on the list are raising the bar in their respective fields within travel and tourism. I would like to congratulate both the women who were shortlisted as well as those that went on to win the awards.

“Looking at the Honours List we are also delighted to welcome these five inspirational women to this very special group of inspirational women in the travel industry.  They will now go on to nominate five up and coming women from the travel industry who will be given a free, membership to the AWTE.”

The AWTE Benevolent also presented their brand new initiative, the AWTE Benevolent Enterprise Gift. Again this was through a nomination process and as this was the first year and there were so many strong nominations the Benevolent committee decided to support 3 women with a Benevolent Gift. £1000 was awarded to Sandra Bruce from Sandy Beach International with £500 each going to Jane Stuart Palikria from Ionian Weddings and Claire Riches from Travelwaves. This gift will be presented at the annual awards for as long as the AWTE Benevolent have the funds to do so.

Andrew Wright
Published by Andrew Wright