A travel agency provides advice and booking facilities for tourism related services to the public on behalf of suppliers such as tour operators, airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, hotels and railways.
Where relevant, customer protection must be provided in the event of company failure via a recognised bonding or insurance scheme.
The “Best National Travel Agency” and “Best Independent Travel Agency” award categories are specifically for travel agencies whose primary business is the provision of services via retail outlets and/or homeworkers. Online Travel Retailers who offer face-to-face consultations as a complementary service from their operation's address SHOULD NOT enter these categories.
Brands with more than 100 physical retail outlets and homeworker groups with national coverage.
Size graded by number of physical retail shops. Open to agencies within consortia but not vertically integrated or a brand operating under the umbrella support of a larger parent company.
Size graded by number of cruise passengers booked during latest 12 months accounting period,
Online retailers offering holiday and travel products from various suppliers (can be in addition to physical retail agency).
Referral and transactional websites promoting a range of travel products and offers from various suppliers.
Aggregator/metasearch websites presenting the best deals across a range of suppliers - non-transactional.
Website providing travel reviews and/or customer feedback - non transactional.
Printed consumer travel publications available from news-stands or delivered to a subscribed readership (with or without companion websites).