To be voted for by the readers of Condé Nast Traveller magazine is a truly great accolade in itself but to actually win and receive the crown of Favourite Tour Operator of the Year 2011, in a packed auditorium, with the great and the good from the travel world in attendance, is one of my proudest moments as CEO of ITC Classics.
I'd like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to each person who voted for us - it genuinely means a lot to everyone here at ITC Classics. I'm immensely proud of the commitment shown by everyone in the team, who on a daily basis are so passionate about delivering excellent service to our clients, so to have their efforts recognised by the Conde Nast Traveller readers is the icing on the cake of a year that has already seen us gain accolades from within the industry.
The evening was also a great opportunity to catch up with many old friends and suppliers, not least those who were also collecting awards on the night. To pick out just a few other notable winners, Italy won out as the Favourite Country and also had three within the top ten of Favourite Overseas Cities (Rome, Venice and Florence) but topping that city award was New York - and I can well understand why! I'd like to add a special mention to one of our hotel partners, The BodyHoliday in St Lucia, who walked away with The Best Destination Spa award; a hugely well deserved accolade and timely too as they're in the middle of a fantastic enhancement programme and the resort will re-open next month with even better facilities. Other winning ITC Classics partners included British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, the leading providers of short- and long-haul flights respectively in the leisure sector, while bmibaby is the top low-cost operator.
The October issue of Condé Nast Traveller, with the full list of award-winners and nominees, is out now and as ever, it's well worth a read!