Top agents and brands recognised at 2021 Aspire Awards

Aspire honoured the best agents and brands in the luxury travel sector at a glittering ceremony on Monday night.

The Aspire Awards was held at The Londoner in Leicester Square in partnership with headline sponsor Celebrity Cruises.

Tour operator Carrier was the only company to clinch two awards as it scooped Luxury Tour Operator of the Year and Luxury Team of the Year. 

Swords Travel was recognised as Independent Agency of the Year (high street), while Tarporley Travel won Independent Agency of the Year (homeworking). 

Other luxury agents to be honoured included Dan Salmon, owner of Never A Wasted Journey, who picked up the gong for Travel Advisor of the Year and Ben Poole, who won Rising Star of the Year after setting up his agency The Travel Journal in Harrogate in January 2020.

Ten Lifestyle Group was named as Concierge Agency of the Year, while London-based agency Travel Matters was applauded for Innovation of the Year, thanks to its partner promotion and B2B business tool.

Other suppliers to be recognised included Celebrity Cruises for Luxury Ocean Cruise Line of the Year; AmaWaterways for Luxury River Cruise Line of the year; and Tourism New Zealand  for Luxury Tourist Board of the Year.

John Sullivan, head of commercial at Advantage Travel Partnership, won Aspire Supporter of the Year.

Aspire editor Hollie-Rae Brader said: “I’m thrilled that we’re here tonight to honour all of you. Everyone in this room has played a part in ensuring our industry survives. You’ve all worked tirelessly, up against endless challenges and restrictions in a complex and ever evolving landscape. Tonight we celebrate you and your businesses.”

Other sponsors involved in the night included Cayman Islands, One&Only Resorts, Air Charter Service, Silversea, Mail Metro Media, Visit USA, Explora Journeys, Seabourn and Molton Brown.

Aspire Awards 2021: Winners

Outstanding Contribution to Luxury – Gemma Antrobus, Haslemere Travel

Outstanding Contribution to Luxury – Neil Jacobs, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Independent Agency of the Year (high street) – Swords Travel

Independent Agency of the Year (homeworking) – Tarporley Travel

Concierge Agency of the Year – Ten Lifestyle Group

Travel Advisor of the Year – Dan Salmon, Never A Wasted Journey

Innovation of the Year (agency) – Travel Matters, partner promotion/b2b business tool

Rising Star of the Year – Ben Poole, The Travel Journal

Aspire Supporter of the Year – John Sullivan, Advantage Travel Partnership

Luxury Ocean Cruise Line of the Year – Celebrity Cruises

Luxury River Cruise Line of the Year – AmaWaterways

Luxury Adventure Brand of the Year – White Desert

Sustainable Practice of the Year – Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Luxury Tourist Board of the Year – Tourism New Zealand

Luxury Hotel Brand of the Year – Sani & Ikos Group

Luxury Air Service of the Year – VistaJet

Luxury Tour Operator of the Year – Carrier

Premium Tour Operator of the Year – Kuoni

Unsung Hero of the Year (supplier) – Katherine Evans, Knighton Reeve

Sales Representation Company of the Year – Perowne International

Innovation of the Year (supplier) – Trees4Travel, carbon calculator/Island Love project

Luxury Team of the Year – Carrier

Image: Carrier team with Aspire editor Hollie-Rae Brader and Silversea's Connie Georgiou.

To view the full gallery of images, click here.

Photo credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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