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.
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).
Brands with more than 100 physical retail outlets and homeworker groups with national coverage.
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
Specialist retailers offering cruise holidays from a variety of cruise lines.
Online retailers offering holiday and travel products from various suppliers (can be in addition to physical retail agency).
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.
Travel insurance specialists and companies who provide travel insurance as part of their services portfolio e.g. travel agents, tour operators, banks and supermarkets.
Companies offering a range of attraction tickets, excursions and/or tours for purchase prior to departure.