By TRACEY ROXBURGH
A Queenstown travel agency’s in the running to win a national award, recognising resilience, advocacy and success during the hardest two years the industry’s ever faced.
xtravel’s Tori Keating and Niki Davies are the only South Island finalists in the inaugural
Silversea Cruises ‘Travel Industry Heroes’ award, being announced at a gala dinner in
Auckland next Thursday.
The award recognises travel agents who, during Covid, showed resilience and imagination to remain in the industry, those who advocated for it, communicated on its behalf, and nurtured the wider travel industry, and their respective communities.
In 2020, xtravel shifted to focus solely on repatriation flights, initially co-chartering flights into New Zealand and Australia from South America, before solo chartering 15 such flights last year.
They got almost 1700 people home to their respective countries, which earned them the Remarkables Park Ltd Covid Resilience and Diversification award at November’s RealNZ Queenstown Business Awards, held in conjunction with the Queenstown Chamber of
Co-owner Keating says she and Davies are ‘‘really chuffed’’ with the recognition, what
they’ve been able to do, and the community support.
‘‘The awards mean more to us than anything else, really, because we haven’t had that
ability to share our success because we don’t want to be seen to be trumpeting [that] when others have not experienced anywhere near the same level of success.’’
Other finalists are Quay Travel’s Michelle Malcolm, House of Travel Newmarket’s Clare Jackson, House of Travel Albany’s Tim Malone and Viva Expeditions’ Rachel Williams, all of Auckland.
Each finalist will receive a $1000 Prezzy card, while the overall winner will receive an all-inclusive luxury cruise for two with Silversea.