2019 Holiday Planning & Booking Sources

Travel Agencies - Definition

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.


Entry Criteria


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.

A35 - Best Travel Deals Provider

Referral and transactional websites promoting a range of travel products and offers from various suppliers.

A36 - Best Travel Price Comparison Website

Aggregator/metasearch websites presenting the best deals across a range of suppliers - non-transactional.

A37 - Best Travel Review/ Ratings Website

Website providing travel reviews and/or customer feedback - non transactional.

A38 - Best Consumer Travel Magazine

Printed consumer travel publications available from news-stands or delivered to a subscribed readership (with or without companion websites).

A39 - Best National Travel Retailer

Brands with more than 100 physical retail outlets and homeworker groups with national coverage.

A40 - Best Independent Travel Agency

Based on number of physical retail shops. Open to agency groups within consortia but not vertically integrated or a brand operating under the umbrella support of a larger parent company.

Size graded award:

Large - 50 to 100 retail outlets

Medium - 10 - 49 retail outlets

Small - less than 10 retail outlets

A41 - Best Cruise Holiday Retailer

Specialist retailers offering cruise holidays from a variety of cruise lines.

A42 - Best Online Travel Retailer

Online retailers offering holiday and travel products from various suppliers (can be in addition to physical retail agency).

A43 - Best Flight Booking Website

A44 - Best Ferry Booking Website

A45 - Best Hotel Booking Website

A46 - Best Foreign Exchange/ Travel Money Retailer

Foreign exchange specialists and companies who provide ForEx as part of their services portfolio e.g. banks, financial services, travel agencies, supermarkets and high street retailers.

A47 - Best Travel Insurance Provider

Travel insurance specialists and companies who provide travel insurance as part of their services portfolio e.g. travel agents, tour operators, banks and supermarkets.

A48 - Best Attraction Tickets/ Excursion Provider

Companies offering a range of attraction tickets, excursions and/or tours for purchase prior to departure.

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