LIMERICK agency Falcon Ace Travel proved a national winner at the 2011 Irish Travel Agents Association Awards held Thursday January 27 in the Mansion House, Dublin. Falcon Ace’s Breda Riordan, based at the city branch in Catherine Street, won Young Travel Professional of the Year 2011, beating at least a dozen other nominees for the title.
TV personality Craig Doyle, who hosted BBC’s Holiday programme for six years, presented Ms Riordan and the jubilant Limerick team with the award in front of her industry peers.
These are the first of the ITAA’s annual awards to recognise travel agents and agencies specifically for excellence in practice. Traditionally ITAA gongs have gone to Best Airline, Best Tour Operator and other categories but the contribution that travel agencies make to the multi-million holiday and travel industry is now official. Limerick led and there was more good news in the offing.
The 470 professionals attending heard that advance holiday bookings were up 15 per cent to 30 per cent over 2010. ITAA president Pat Dawson told the Mansion House assembly that “2011 is looking very good and we hope to sustain these levels to the end of the year”.
Falcon Ace Travel was established 11 years ago by Linda McNamara, company owner based in the county shop at South Quay, Newcastle West.
Breda Riordan, who shared the award on stage last night with Limerick manager Mike Shinnors and Linda McNamara, admitted her delight to Limerick Post: “I think it is the personal touches that did it and really matter such as dropping people’s tickets into their houses, contacting them on return form their holiday. It makes the difference”.