Stella Grant, O’Hanrahan Travel, Monaghan Town, was last night declared the winner of this year’s inaugural Irish Travel Trade News Budding Travel Writer of the Year Award. Stella, who reported on her recent fam trip with MSC Cruises, Turkish Airlines and TravelCube, was presented with a cheque for €1,000.00 by the competition’s sponsor, Cathy Burke, General Manager, Travel Counsellors Ireland.
The judging panel comprised Ronan Flood, Managing Editor, and Neil Steedman, News & Features Editor, of Irish Travel Trade News; and Cathy Burke, General Manager, and Bernie Whelan, Business Development Executive, of Travel Counsellors Ireland.
Each month from July to November all entries were independently assessed by the four judges – three of whom did not know the identities of the authors – and the winner was presented with a €100 One4All voucher and an invitation to the Irish Travel Trade Awards. In December the five winning entries were independently re-assessed and the overall winner determined.
July’s winner was Bernie Roche of Club Travel / HRG Worldwide, who reported on her fam trip to Chicago with United.
August’s winner was Shane Cullen of Killiney Travel, who wrote about his fam trip with the Spanish Tourism Office to Cambrils.
September’s winner was Sarah Slattery of Skytours, who described her first visit to Benidorm on a fam trip with Lowcostbeds and the Spanish Tourism Office.
October’s winner was Claire Rochford of FCm Travel Solutions, who visited the Golden Triangle in India with GoHop.ie and KLM.
November’s winner was Stella Grant of O’Hanrahan Travel, who visited Istanbul and sailed on the MSC Divina from Istanbul to Venice on a fam trip with MSC Cruises and Turkish Airlines.