A Christmas message from Travel Weekly

Despite a devastating year for the industry, the events of the past ten months have also produced stories of hope and showcased the special nature of the travel sector as brands and individuals pulled together to help and support each other.

Early in the pandemic, Travel Weekly created an online Good Deed Feed to showcase these acts of solidarity and kindness and create some light amid the darkness.

And in December we gave the travel trade a platform to say thank you to those who have helped them over the course of this most difficult of years.

Please find a selection of the tributes and a message from Travel Weekly editor-in-chief in the video below, and scroll down to read the tributes in full.

Everyone at Travel Weekly wishes our readers a safe and peaceful Christmas.


TW Christmas Cheers WIDE

“For me it’s been Chloe Smyth from Jetset. On more than one occasion after hours she spent time sorting issues, changing flights and helping customers. Nothing has been any bother to her. In fact, the whole Jetset team has been a dream to work with throughout.”

Mike Mackay, Mackays – Not Just Travel

“Lawrence Fraser from Osprey Holidays! He’s been working round the clock and nothing is too much trouble. We’ve put the world to rights so many times while he busily sorted our customers – I massively appreciated the chats we’ve had while I was working alone in my office!”

Jane Karatas – Bailey’s Travel

“I want to thank Irene Hays who has been there for the whole Hays family. Despite going through the most traumatic of times since losing John, she has still been there for every one of us at Hays Travel.”

Tracey Hultberg – Hays Travel

“Carly Charteris of Premier Holidays has kept us smiling and our spirits high on a daily basis by posting funny or inspirational comments. Thank you, Carly.”

Kay Oram – The Travel Shop

“You have to give credit to Samantha Morrison at Travel 2. Making changes when the crap hit the fan and constantly doing bookings even through the transition to Gold Medal – as usual doing bookings through the night. Love her.”

David Walker, The Travel Snob (Not Just Travel)

“Too many people to thank but here are a few: Paula Nuttall and Phil Nuttall and the rest of our team for their amazing support through this horrendous year. Tour operators Stuart Lee (Mainstreet Travel) and team are available at any time to solve a problem or book holidays, and Vishal Patel and his amazing team at Travelpack. Nothing is too much bother for them – whether it’s a rebook or helping with deals.”

Denise Armour – The Holiday Village

“Lynseyann, Cathy and Chris in my team have delivered true dedication in support of our agent partners over the last few weeks. You are all stars. A huge thank-you too to everyone at If Only. I’d also like to thank our amazing agents, old and new, for support over the last nine months. Mutual respect is the glue that keeps our industry together.”

Gordon McCreadie – If Only

“Kay Frankland, one of our top homeworkers, has seen her figures fall, her income decimated and had to get a second job. Yet she has rebooked over 50% of her impacted bookings and generated new sales by being proactive. On top of all of this, every day since the initial lockdown in March she has posted a funny image/quote on our internal system to make everyone smile. She has been such a team player and she has helped many through some dark moments.”

Amanda Matthews – Designer Travel

“Matt Greenwood at Gold Medal has been brilliant, replying at all times of day and at weekends.”

Donna Nixon – 52 Degrees North Travel

“For me, and I’m sure others will agree, Lindsay Garvey-Jones at Holiday Extras has been amazing. During the first lockdown she hosted an online evening about mental wellbeing for us to get things off our chests. Everyone who joined or watched afterwards appreciated the honesty and the opportunity to talk, come together and took something away from it.”

Stephen Hardie

“Faisal Farooq at Travelpack has gone above and beyond in helping me secure a number of bookings even when he was quarantined after testing positive for Covid. He is always quick to respond, resend and confirm quotes outside of working hours.”

Graham Bishop – GoCruise & Travel

“The whole team at Travelpack continues to shine. Changes and refunds have been quick and fuss free, and they have great offers and quick service for new bookings. In particular Carole Smith, Suzanna Barrow and of course, the travel industry superhero that is Vishal Patel.”

Wendy Haines – Wendy Haines Travel

“I would love to say thank you to Allison Bewick from Mainstreet Travel Group. She works on her days off and until the early hours in the morning most nights, just to make sure all us agents can get the bookings in the bag! It’s their time to shine, so thank you Allison and Stuart Lee and all the team at Mainstreet. Keep being amazing.”

Linzi Robertson – Travel Planet Glasgow

“Jess Dennison from Latin Routes; not only is she fighting, like all, to keep her business afloat, she has also offered to help people save on their business bills and also with her Christmas presents campaign for children. Generous, selfless and an all-round ‘good egg’.”

Anna Howard – Ikos Resorts

“Kuoni has been amazing, quick and efficient for sorting rebookings, honouring deals to try and retain customers and refunding quickly where needed. Also Jessica Lucas, our marketing guru at Your Holiday Booking, is utterly amazing. We couldn’t have done it all without you.”

Natalie Gibbs – Your Holiday Booking

“I would like to thank the whole of the UK Sandals team – Emma Brewer, Paul Tidy, Leah Marshall and Lorraine Adams. They have been my rock day in, day out since April and every one of them has been amazing! I would not have got through this without them. I will never forget who was there… just simply outstanding.”

Lianne Peters – Luxury Deals 4 U

“I would like to say thank you to Martin Walker from Holiday Hamster. He always helped us fellow agents before Covid-19 struck without any hesitation, but during the last few months he has been a true gem for fellow Global Travel Group agents. He has remained positive throughout and kept us all motivated during these hard times. Without him, I think many fellow Global members would have struggled a lot more so thank you Martin and the rest of the Holiday Hamster team.”

Penny Silford – Suitcase Travel

“A big shout-out to Orla Kern and Kirsty Webb at Meeting Point who have helped us cancel and rebook clients throughout the pandemic. Their service has been fantastic and enabled us to save loads of bookings and refund clients quickly. I can’t thank them enough.”

Andy Brewer – Blue Sea Holidays

“I would like to thank Danielle Walker at Lusso for her continued support, not only as a colleague but a friend! For hours of listening to me over the past nine months and for all your help to navigate through the bookings we had/have it’s been a tough one for us all, but you’ve been a massive support and I’m so grateful for that! Roll on 2021.”

Bianca Wassell – The Travel Concept

“Many operators have been great at helping us to sort out bookings. However, one account manager stands out from the crowd. Despite working restricted hours, to no doubt deal with even more enquires and calls for help than normal, nothing is too much trouble for him, and he often manages to do the impossible. So a big thank you to Stuart Pearce, strategic account manager at Azamara.”

Ian Warren – GoCruise & Travel

“A huge thank you to Vishal Patel, Graeme Evans and the team at Travelpack who have supported us and our franchisees. Also a special mention to Jetset and Gold Medal who have also been extra supportive to us over the past few months during difficult challenges.”

The Holiday Franchise Company team

“In what has been a very challenging year for all, I have been blown away by the customer care and commitment demonstrated by the Stewart Travel cruise disruption team. Elaine Graham, Stephanie Behan and their teams have have worked tirelessly to support all of their guests’ needs. The heart-warming care they have shown has been nothing short of outstanding.”

Ellie Webb – Princess Cruises

“We’d love to highlight Roberta Gordon and Paula Alger from HolidaysPlease – Roberta worked with us to retain a £43k Barbados booking and went above and beyond to get this amended to the Maldives instead. Paula has consistently contacted us to save as many of her Kuramathi bookings as she can so a big shout out to them for their pro-activeness, striving to amend rather than cancel, and promoting us.”

Helen Roberts – Kuoni

“In addition to managing the huge task of helping her customers during lockdown, Travel Counsellor Jane Sedgwick and her husband volunteered in their local community, supporting the vulnerable and elderly. The adaptability and community spirit shown by Jane and many others in the travel industry – helping others less fortunate despite livelihoods and careers changing beyond recognition – has been heart-warming to see.”

Steve Williams – MSC Cruises

“I would like to thank my boss Peter Cookson who has spent a lifetime building a successful business only to see it disappear before his eyes. In his words ‘it would have been easier to let the company go in May/June but he wanted to save our jobs’ so battled on to get us through. It has been really tough on mind and body, but messages from him throughout have been positive, saying: ‘we have done it before and we will do it again’. What a hero.”

Kim Kent – Spear Travels

“A big shout out to the lovely Claire Moore at Peakes Travel Elite who has been super helpful in giving up her time to do Canada training webinars with us this year. We are grateful for her glowing heart and unwavering support of Canada in this testing year.”

Adam Hamner – Destination Canada

“I’d like to thank the team at Tates Travel in Sunderland for their fabulous support of National Holidays. From the moment that The JG Travel group purchased the National Holidays brand, they have been fantastic. Their support and understanding has been very much appreciated during these difficult times.”

Claire Dutton – JG Travel Group

“The team and I wanted to give a special thank you to Marion Owen of Marion Owen Travel who has worked in partnership with us to ensure that we secured as many rebooks as possible. It is a pleasure to work with Marion and I want to personally thank her for all the support and for being so wonderful to work with!”

Jess Shelton-Agar – APT

“A big thanks to all the teams who have worked tirelessly to help us with refunds/changes and cancellations on less staff and with systems that ‘weren’t designed to work backwards’. In particular my thanks go to Anthony Moore, Sarah Enfield, Courtney Boon and Louise Moxon at Fred Travel and Margaret Eva at Crystal Cruises.”

Clare Dudley – Ponders Travel

“Louise Guildford from Sunstreet Travel has really gone above and beyond. She has had to move one of her client’s bookings to Sandals Barbados no fewer than three times, and they have now decided to get married on their holiday. They were so grateful for her help that they sent her a beautiful bunch of flowers to say thank you.”

Lorraine Adams – Sandals and Beaches Resorts

“A huge thank you to Adrian Smyth and the team at JetSet Flights. Many a partnership has been tested this year, and Adrian’s collaborative and positive approach to solve problems for our businesses and customers has been refreshing. As a result, our partnership can go from strength to strength as the industry recovers.”

Adrian Keating – Air Transat

“I would like to say a huge thank you to Sandra Ollerton, owner and manager of Preston Travel Centre. You worked tirelessly on your own in the office from March to July and helped so many people while all the staff had to be furloughed. You have managed to keep the business going and also your staff in jobs. All businesses have struggled and suffered massively but you should be so proud of yourself for doing it all on your own. Myself and the rest of the staff cannot thank you enough for what you have done. Frustration, anger, tears – you have gone through all the emotions and are still going strong. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now we are partly back with you, we are going to smash this together.”

Nick Stagg-Andrew, Preston Travel Centre

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Adrian Smyth and his team at Jetset for their immense support throughout the last 10 months. His flexible approach and consistent provision of refunds where applicable have been hugely helpful to us as we have managed clients’ expectations.”

Andrew Meech, Liphook Travel

“Sandra at Andara Travel deserves a shout-out. Together we’ve worked through some very complicated bookings and situations (and some bookings were also affected by the Freedom/Thomas Cook collapse) and she’s always been extremely patient and a joy to work with. She’s had a lot to deal with this year and has been working most of it on her own. Thank you, Sandra!”

Ali Muskett, InsideJapan Tours

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to Nici Davies at Travelwise. We’ve had many big and complicated bookings to cancel or rebook and we very much appreciate her support throughout this whole situation while also working alone. We’ve not always agreed on everything but we’ve listened to each other and navigated through it all together. Thank you – I definitely owe you a few (many) drinks!”

Matt Spiller, InsideJapan Tours

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