Top luxury agents and businesses honoured at Aspire Awards 2023
Leading agents and businesses from the luxury travel sector were honoured at the Aspire Awards in Manchester on Wednesday.
The annual ceremony hosted by Aspire was held at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in partnership with headline sponsor Celebrity Cruises, with more than 400 people in attendance.
Top honours of the evening went to Kent Milne, founding chairman of Dorset-based agency Select World Travel, and luxury hospitality consultant Filip Boyen, who has worked in the hotel sector for more than 30 years, who both won Outstanding Contribution to Luxury awards.
Select World Travel was also recognised as Independent Luxury Retail Business of the Year.
Jennifer Lonergan, owner and founder of The Luxury Traveller, won the hotly contested category of Luxury Seller of the Year, while Travelwise in London won Independent Luxury Agency of the Year.
Swords Travel picked up two gongs, with the London-based agency winning Luxury Homeworking Business of the Year: Small and head of marketing partnerships Hollie Stillion being recognised as Rising Star of the Year: Individual.
Other agent awards went to Designer Travel, which won Luxury Homeworking Business of the Year: Large for the second year running; Privé Luxury Travel, named Rising Star of the Year: Agency; and Mundy Cruising, which won Luxury Cruise Agency of the Year – a new category for the Aspire Awards this year.
In the supplier categories, Carrier and Silversea both took home two trophies each, with Carrier picking up Luxury Operator of the Year and Luxury Team of the Year – awards the operator has retained since the event’s inception in 2019 - and Silversea clinching Ultra-Luxury Cruise Line of the Year and Luxury Expedition Line of the Year.
Two Kerzner International brands were honoured, with One&Only Resorts picking up the award for Luxury Hotel Brand of the Year and Atlantis The Royal’s launch campaign being recognised for Trade Initiative of the Year.
Other wins went to If Only, which was awarded Premium Tour Operator of the Year; Oceania Cruises, which won Luxury Cruise Line of the Year; and Andrea Keeble, senior sales and marketing manager at Ikos and Sani Resorts, who won the award for Unsung Hero of the Year.
The Aspire Awards were held in Manchester for the first time this year, a move the brand made to recognise the wealth of luxury agents and businesses in the north of the country.
Speaking on the night, Aspire editor Hollie-Rae Brader said: “I can’t tell you how delighted I am to see so many of you here tonight in Manchester. We moved the event from London and the response was phenomenal. We wanted to show our support for companies based outside of London, and as a result we’re welcoming more of you to the Aspire Awards than ever before.
“We truly value your support and we hope you know that we have the trade’s success at the core of absolutely everything we do.”
Outstanding Contribution to Luxury - Filip Boyen
Outstanding Contribution to Luxury - Kent Milne
Concierge Agency of the Year - Ten Lifestyle Group
Luxury Cruise Agency of the Year - Mundy Cruising
Independent Luxury Retail Business of the Year - Select World Travel
Luxury Homeworking Business of the Year: Large - Designer Travel
Luxury Homeworking Business of the Year: Small - Swords Travel
Sustainability Champion of the Year - Travel Matters
Rising Star of the Year: Individual - Hollie Stillion, Swords Travel
Rising Star of the Year: Agency - Privé Luxury Travel
Luxury Seller of the Year - Jennifer Lonergan, The Luxury Traveller (Highly Commended: Angela Mayall)
Independent Luxury Agency of the Year - Travelwise
Luxury Team of the Year – Carrier
Luxury Hotel Brand of the Year - One&Only Resorts
Sales representation Company of the Year: Large - Flospitality
Sales Representation Company of the Year: Small - Van Isacker Exclusive
Trade Initiative of the Year - Atlantis The Royal’s launch campaign
Unsung Hero of the Year - Andrea Keeble, Ikos and Sani Group
Ultra-Luxury Cruise Line of the Year - Silversea
Luxury Cruise Line of the Year - Oceania Cruises
Luxury Expedition Cruise Line of the Year - Silversea Expeditions
Luxury River Cruise Line of the Year - AmaWaterways
Luxury Tourist Board of the Year - South African Tourism
Specialist Luxury Tour operator of the Year - Knighton Reeve
Luxury Tour Operator of the Year - Carrier (Highly Commended: Elegant Resorts)
Premium Tour Operator of the Year - If Only
Luxury Adventure Brand of the Year - White Desert Antarctica
Sustainability Initiative of the Year - Six Senses Laamu