Cruise giant Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and mobile phone text service operator Call Uma shared the spoils in the innovation category at this year’s Co-operative Travel Star Awards.
Now in their second year, the awards mark the achievements of key commercial partners the Co-op works with and most are voted for either by customers or employees.
However, this year it was decided to have two judged awards, one for innovation and one for sustainability, which firms had to submit an entry for.
Shaun Hinds, the Co-op’s commercial director, said the judging panel could not separate the joint winners and he also commended the entry by Bourne Leisure for it’s Ocean Hotel, opened in Bognor Regis earlier this year.
Royal Caribbean last month launched the world’s largest cruise ship, the 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas and Call Uma has struck a partnership with the Co-op which promotes its information text services as part of a co-branded agreement.
The sustainability award went to Tui Travel which beat eight other nominated companies including Shearings, Holland America Line, East Midlands Airport, Holiday Taxis, Royal Caribbean, Kuoni, Virgin Holidays and Haven.
Thomas Cook scooped the most prestigious Star Award for best operator, beating Royal Caribbean, Tui Travel and Virgin Holidays, and also the best opetator for trade support and customer service.
Cook’s bed bank Hotels4u won best accommodation only supplier as voted for by the Co-op’s wholesale team. The other big winners were Superbreak which scooped three awards and Manchester Airport which was voted both best leisure and business airport.
Best leisure airline went to Virgin Atlantic, best short haul operator to Tui Travel and long haul operator to Virgin Holidays.
Kuoni was voted best operator for training, P&O Cruises the best cruise line and Inghams the best winter sports operator.