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AWTE Awards – Winners are announced

Winners of the Annual AWTE Awards announced.

The annual AWTE Awards took place in London on Monday evening at the prestigious Mayfair Hotel. Celebrating an evening of successes with male and female winners spanning the travel industry, the event saw female industry pioneers rewarded for their impact on business and the industry. For the first time, there was the opportunity for AWTE members to recognise male colleagues who actively encourage and support female employees within their business, with the ambassador award.

The evening opened with a rallying speech from Lisa Henning on behalf of headline sponsor for the second year running, The Travel Network Group. Lisa clearly demonstrated their dedication to supporting the development and enhancement of women throughout the business.

Aphrodite Burton, Benevolent Chair, then awarded the enterprise gift on behalf of the AWTE Benevolent Fund for the advancement of their businesses to Donna Allcock. Donna is looking to use the gift to embark on a digital marketing course to support her personal and career development.

Five new members were added to the Most Influential Women in Travel list during the evening, with Ruth Hilton; Jess Dennison, Latin Routes; Rachel Healey, Uniworld; Lisa Henning, TTNG and Erin Johnson, Silversea, being recognised this year. All the ladies were ‘thrilled’ with their inclusion on the list.

The AWTE honorary award was handed to Claire Osborne from Travelport for her outstanding contribution and ongoing support to the association over the last year.

AWTE benevolent chair and industry veteran Aphrodite Burton was given the Outstanding Contribution award for her long-standing services to the association. Aphrodite was overwhelmed and was left speechless after receiving the award.

This year Thomas Cook sponsored the Business Impact award and Phil Gardner was delighted to present Holly-Rae Brader, Travel Weekly Editor of Aspire, with the coveted award for 2018.  During Hollie’s two years as editor of Aspire, she has propelled the brand and as a result the readership of the magazine has soared, and the brand has shown compound revenue growth of 54%. On receipt of the award, Holly thanked Lucy Huxley and Amie Keely for their support since joining the team at Travel Weekly and acknowledged the strength of the females on the team.

Travel agent Rob Kenton, Triangle Travel, was named winner of AWTE’s new ambassador award which recognises a male member of the travel industry who encourages, enables and supports women in business. Rob has demonstrated huge support for his team of women and has being fully supportive when members have looked to return to work after taking career breaks.

Company of the Year was awarded to Travelzoo, the UK’s leading travel and entertainment deals provider.  With 25 offices worldwide, and an 80% female board of directors, it’s clear that Travelzoo strongly believe in cultural and gender diversity.  In the UK, the senior management team were taken to 50% women, with the recent appointment of Marisa McClosky, General Manager, who collected the award on their behalf.  Travelzoo urge more women to ‘take seats at the table’ and it has the highest female-to-male ratio of any NASDAQ or NYSE-listed company on the board of directors and they hope to inspire other companies to follow suit.

Sarah Clayton Turner – Chair of the AWTE said “It was an outstanding evening of celebration.  We shook things up a little this year, introducing a panel of judges and a new category recognising our male colleagues and both were well received.  It never ceases to amaze me that we have such talent in our industry and it’s wonderful to be able to recognise their achievements.  All of our winners should be extremely proud of themselves today!”.


All of the winners display their awards on stage
with Sarah Clayton-Turner, Chair of AWTE








Claire Osborne
Published by Claire Osborne
Claire has held various roles within the Travel Industry across a wide variety of disciplines over more than 20 years. At the start of her career, she held various Account Management positions before progressing to be Head of Agency Sales at STA Travel. During this time she led a team of 9 and had complete responsibility for the success of the division. Claire then progressed into the role of Commercial and Marketing Manager for Resorthoppa, help take the company from a small start-up to an organisation employing over 100 people just prior to its sale to the LowCost Group. During her time here she led various initiatives including creating legal and finance processes, designing marketing campaigns, setting up business support functions and developing relationships with Travel Agency partners. Before joining Travelport, she held the role of Business Expert at TUI helping them shape and define changes to their internal systems and consumer technology solutions. This enabled Claire to learn a great deal about technology, project management and business analysis which has been invaluable in her current role. Initially joining Travelport as Product Support Manager, UK & Ireland, in 2011 she was promoted just over 12 months later to Director of Product Support for Europe heading up a team of 9 product professionals. In 2014, Claire was asked to join the commercial side of the organisation as Solutions Sales Director and re-define the role of the functional support team within the UK. In 2016, this role grew to encompass the Northern European area increasing the number of employees from 8 to the 25 we have today. In 2017, Claire was pleased to be elected to the Board of AWTE and in 2019 was delighted to be nominated as Chair.