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Awards are for Members only!
And the Winners are...!
21 May 2016: The prestigious ASATA Diners Club Awards ceremony was held during the ASATA Conference on 20 May 2016. We are proud to announce the names of those travel professionals who have been singled out for the honour of receiving this year's ASATA Diners Club Awards.
Considered the highest accolade in the South African travel industry, nominations for the ASATA Diners Club Awards were received from all over the county. The expert panel of judges took great care in scoring entries in an anonymous review process to identify worthy winners in various sectors across the travel and tourism industry.
The ASATA Diners Club Awards recognise those individuals who consistently exceed expectations, display great people skills, have strong travel knowledge, pay close attention to detail, offer superb client support, and set exceptionally high standards to the benefit of the entire South African travel industry. The winners in the eight categories are as follows:
|Exceptional Commitment: George Argyropoulos (Cruises International)|
|"This nominee has the ability to command respect regardless of the environment setting them apart from the rest. The ability to lead the team and the travel trade through inspiration, remaining humble, despite all the successes, is an ideal candidate for the award. Well known amongst the travel trade, does not mind getting their hands dirty with day the day tasks including reservations and bookings. There are various occasions and examples where determination to support the industry is evident, working together to make the lives of trade partners easier including training initiatives. This finalist has been involved with ASATA in various activities, giving support in forums and events."|
|Tomorrow's Leader: Robyn Daneel-Spicer (Sure Stellenbosch Travel)|
|"This nominee has the ability to analyse, create innovative solutions and lead in a way that ensures success, she can spot opportunities and ensure implementation. She has taken the digital world extremely seriously, has innovatively designed a system that is unique in a positive response and drives sales. She keeps abreast of all developments that affect the future in general and travel specifically staying ahead of the curve. Passionate about training and re-training the youth who have limited experience but great potential she assists them to be leaders in the future. She convinces owners of companies to embrace the change and upskill candidates for promotion, possible management and future ownership."|
RETAIL SECTOR AWARDS
|Corporate Consultant in a Travel Agency: Tammy MacFie (Reynolds Travel Centre)|
|"She is very efficient and meticulous to the finest details for a seamless travel experience. Most of the clients are chairmen, CEO’s, Board members and top management of a variety of industries. She takes time to investigate each of their industries to understand their needs. She offers quick responses and is on top of her game. She is level headed in a crisis, remaining composed and unruffled, and always informing her clients. We constantly receive letters of appreciation from delighted clients about her excellent service."|
|Leisure Consultant in a Travel Agency: Evengeline September (Club Travel Algoa Bay)|
|"She has the ability to read her clients correctly with her welcoming warm personality, she keeps updated with the latest technology, carries out research has excellent listening skills and the clients return for her excellent service. All contact details, information are in her clients’ personal files, all details needed by the client are included in their itineraries, explains all the rules and conditions of the booking. All her clients receive a personal phone call on their return to welcome them back and make sure they had a dream holiday."|
|Independent Travel Consultant (ITC): Gail Parker (Harvey World Travel)|
|"Her customers will get the same attention to detail and commitment by supplying them with information and options whether a single person or a group of 60. The amount of research she does to ensure the customer’s trip is 100% is extremely valuable. She attends product training and workshops, asks for advice and assistance and shares information. She travels within her own capacity and gains valuable experience and first-hand knowledge. This makes recommendations easy for the client with great success. Her own business is growing which proves she has the Wow factor."|
|Key Accounts Executive in a Travel Agency: Chantelle du Plooy (HRG Rennies Travel)|
|"She adds immense value to her customer portfolio by bringing maturity and a solution seeking attitude. She has a diverse customer base and needs to balance business requirements and bespoke solutions. She took the initiative to create a project team around some challenges our customers were experiencing and driving herself and colleagues to search for resolution of the issues. She makes concerted efforts to research trends that may impact both the travel and customer specific industry. She analyses the customer data to pick up nuances in their travel spend and makes knowledgeable recommendations to increase cost savings and efficiencies."|
WHOLESALE SECTOR AWARDS
|Consultant in a Tour Operator: Jenny de Vries (Beachcomber Tours)|
|"Her passion for the industry is evident in every enquiry she considers changes in season, anticipates complications, and stays calm and focussed in her approach. She has a great ability to listen and accurately assess the clients’ needs, with attention to detail. She knows the product and the destination and takes great care to learn and develop her skills. It is because of her excellent skills and knowledge that she has stepped into a training role and mentor for the new consultants."|
|Sales Representative in a Tour Operator: Deanne Allchurch (Travel Vision)|
|"The advantage of this nominee is that previously she was a travel agent and understands the pace, urgencies and operations of an agency. She is in tune with the daily pressures of consultants, keeping their clients happy. Therefore she never goes into an agency unless she has an objective for the call on either product/destination knowledge or training. She does follow-up visits to ensure the consultants are confident and to assist with any enquiries."|
Says Otto de Vries, CEO ASATA: "Congratulations to all our very worthy winners and thank you to all those who took the time to nominate their colleagues, peers and employees.
"Our thanks too, to the judges who were selected for their expertise and standing in the travel industry. Their non-partisan participation and generous donation of their time and expertise is greatly valued.
"And finally, our sincere gratitude to Diners Club for their very generous sponsorship of these prestigious awards and their laudable commitment, support and belief in the travel industry in recognising travel professionals and awarding them."
The purpose and value of the ASATA Diners Club Awards
Otto de Vries
Diners Club SA
Otto de Vries, chief executive officer of the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA), says, "Over the years ASATA has regularly promoted the services of our travel agency and wholesale members, and the annual awards recognise those individuals who have contributed to the professional image of this dynamic industry.
"As destinations are continually added to the traveller's repertoire, and the world becomes even more of a global village, the travel agent becomes the customer's go-to person when seeking assistance with making the right decisions. A knowledgeable, confident and professional travel agent goes a long way in creating successful experiences for the traveller.
"The ASATA Diners Club Awards honour travel agents who are consistently improving on their service by upgrading their skills, keeping pace with current trends and ensuring that travellers are informed of any changes in everything from government legislation and health issues to the best time of the year to travel to chosen destinations."
Ebrahim Matthews, managing director of Diners Club South Africa, adds, "Diners Club is proud to be associated with ASATA and its commitment to the travel industry through continued efforts to promote growth and development. We are once again delighted to sponsor these prestigious awards, where winners are nominated by their peers, judged fairly and independently, and duly recognised as being the elite of the travel industry."
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