Two Hays Travel employees have each won a three-night stay at Atlantis, The Palm following a competition run by Kerzner International for National Travel Agent Day.
The hotel group asked agents to share examples of how they or their colleagues have gone the extra mile while working in the travel industry.
Winner Kath McDonald (pictured left), who manages a team of 20 at the UK’s largest independent agency and has worked in the sector for 30 years, was nominated by her colleague Aaron Petty (pictured right).
“She really has gone above and beyond throughout this last year and a bit,” Petty wrote in Kerzner International’s Facebook group for the travel trade.
“She was the fuel for [me] starting as a homeworker for Hays and it’s one thing I will always owe her for. She’s calmed me down… when I’ve been stressed with customers, assured me I am doing fine when I feel I am not, and helped me kick start my new career. She never puts herself first – always her little boy, work and customers.”
Craig Jeffs, account director for leisure sales for the UK and Scandinavia at Kerzner International, said Petty’s “heartfelt” tribute had “touched everyone’s hearts both here in the UK and at Atlantis, The Palm”. The brand consequently decided to award him an additional stay voucher.
“The last 18 months have been incredibly hard. We’ve had highs, we’ve had lows, but the one thing that we haven’t lost is the passion for our industry,” Jeffs said.
“The tenacity, the support and the joy of travel is kept alive by [travel agents] and we couldn’t do what we do without [them].
“We had so many entries for the competition – some heart-warming, some heart-breaking, but the silver lining out of all of this is that we’re all in this together and that’s the one thing about our industry that I love so much.”
National Travel Agent Day was the second of its kind in the UK, organised by Intrepid Travel on July 23.
Members of the travel industry took part in events across the country to raise money for Abta Lifeline and the ITAA Benevolent Fund in Ireland to support agents who are struggling during the pandemic.