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Web Travel Award winners announced

Web Travel Award winners announced

Travel industry heavy weights such as Virgin Atlantic and Lastminute were among

the winner’s at this year’s TravelMole Web Awards, alongside specialists such as

Snow-Line and Caledonian MacBrayne ferries.

Now in its third year, the TravelMole Web Awards received a record number of

nominations, with over 300 individual Websites nominated across 12 categories.

The Websites were analysed by a team of Internet specialists according to ease of

navigation, clarity of purpose, functionality and effective and aesthetically-pleasing

design. The judges were John Lawrence of Worldchoice, Dr Hilary Murphy of

Lausanne Hotel School, Liz Craig of OneGlobe Network, and Susie Greenwood of

Greenwood Solutions.

The awards were presented to a lively crowd at a well-known pub in central London

on Friday 22nd April.

Winner of the travel agency Website award, sponsored by Dolphin Dynamics was

Snow-Line, regarded by the judges as being well-organised and accompanied by an

excellent search facility.

On collecting the award Snow-Line commercial manager Glen Thomas told

TravelMole: “It’s fantastic to win this award and get such a boost at the end of the

ski season. Our customer-friendly approach is our strength and that’s what has

helped us to thrive in what is an exceptionally competitive marketplace and in this

very competitive category.”

The next to be handed out was the Web-based agency award, sponsored by

OneGlobe Network. The winner, Lastminute.com, was regarded to have most

successfully managed its content, with a “funky” design and clean delivery directed

at specific target markets.

Next was the tour operator site, sponsored by Vertical Group, and won by Complete

North America, for its comprehensive content and tailored search. Director Duncan

Harwood told TravelMole: “We are very excited to have received this award because

we’re a relatively young company at only six year’s old. Our content is great and the

thing that really sets us apart is that we make it easy for people to find exactly what

they are looking for.”

The tourist board category was hotly contested as ever, and was won this year by

travelnt.com, a Website promoting Australia’s Northern Territories. On accepting the

award, UK Regional Director Robert Hardless said: “To say that we are delighted with

this reward would be a understatement. We are all over the moon and extremely

happy that all the hard work, ingenuity and creativity that went into the design of

our Website by our talented team in Darwin has been so significantly recognised.

“You just have to consider the stiff competition we had to beat to get this award to

understand its value and importance.”

The airline Website, sponsored by P&P Associates was won by Virgin Atlantic, and

there to collect the award was head of interactive media at Cochango, Paul Dawson,

who oversaw the design of the Website. He told TravelMole: “We’re delighted to have

won this because Virgin’s strategy is all about having a customer-facing site which

delights the user and rather than a focus on technology we concentrate on the

customer’s enjoyment.”

Picking up the hotel or resort site award, sponsored by Rooster, was The Manoir aux

Quat’Saisons, the luxury Oxfordshire hideaway owned by Raymond Blanc. The site

was picked by the judges for its copious detail and use of imagery.

The cruise and ferry operator site was the next award, sponsored by First Choice

Interactive and won by Caledonian MacBrayne, the Hebridean and Clyde ferry

operator, viewed by the judges to have a user-friendly design and easy-flowing

booking facility.

On receiving the award, head of communication and customer care, Hugh Dan

MacLennan said: “The award is great news for the company and Debs Brown of the

marketing team, who has led the development of the site.

”Our Web activity has gone up year on year by nearly 50% per month compared to

last year… That can only be good for our business and the communities we serve,

given that the web activity normally translates into brochure requests and then

reservations.”

The award for top car rental site, sponsored by Octopus Travel, went to

Carbookers.com, the car rental site launched in January 2004 by ebookers. On

collecting the award, group marketing direct Chris Sherlock told TravelMole: “We

have focussed on simplicity with the site, looking at what the customer is looking

for and putting them in control of the booking.

“It’s more than click, click and buy, it’s an experience,” said ebookers group car

product manager Kevin Hall.

The Web-based technology category, sponsored by Sabre Travel Network, was won

by SkyScanner.net, for it’s “state of the art meta search”, according to the judges.

On collecting the award, director Barry Smith told TravelMole: “We are over the

moon about this as we understood this category had a lot of nominations. We are

always looking to do something different and innovative and will continue to do so

looking forward.”

The travel management website category, sponsored by Dataflex, was won by Wayte

Travel, which also had its studentflights.co.uk Website short-listed in the travel

agency category. Designed by a Web designer and former travel agent, the site was

praised for its attention grabbing and clear homepage and effective content

delivery.

Wayte Bros Ltd managing director Chris Morris told TravelMole: “We have won this

award two year’s running, which is a great achievement. It’s a reflection of the

success of this Website and its ability to attract new business to Wayte Travel.”

The penultimate award, for the best recruitment site, was sponsored by the Institute

of Travel Managers and won by C&M Group for its candm.co.uk site. On collecting

the award, C&M Group managing director, Angus Chisholm said: “We’re delighted to

get the award because we’ve been through a company rebrand and invested a lot in

the site. Receiving this award has confirmed our position as the market leader and

best place to find work in the travel industry in the UK.”

The final award was the responsible tourism site award, sponsored by Worldspan

and this year won by Eco Club. The judges said the winner stood out for its

straightforward approach, engendering sense of community and display of

ecological intent.

TravelMole would like to congratulate the winners, thanks the sponsors and

encourage those websites not nominated this year to participate in next year’s

event.

The winners in short:

• Snow-Line (snow-line.co.uk) – Best Agent Website

• Complete North America (completenorthamerica.co.uk) - Best Tour Operator

Website

• Lastminute.com – Best Web-based Agency

• Virgin Airways (virginatlanticairways.com) - Best Airline Website

• Carbookers (carbookers.com) - Best Car Rental Website

• Eco Club (ecoclub.com) - Best Responsible Tourism Website

• Skyscanner (skyscanner.net) - Best Technology Website

• Wayte Travel (waytetravel.co.uk) - Best Travel Management Website

• Travel Northern Territories (travelnt.com) - Best Tourist Board Website

• Caledonian MacBrayne (calmac.co.uk) - Best Cruise & Ferry Operator Website

• Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons (manoir.com) - Best Hotel Resort Website

• C&M Group (candm.co.uk) - Best Recruitment Website

UKFast is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.


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