Last updated: 01:42 AM ET, Thu January 07 2016

Islands of Tahiti, Sandals, Trafalgar Big Winners at 2016 Travvy Awards

Travel Agent | Tim Wood | January 06, 2016

Islands of Tahiti, Sandals, Trafalgar Big Winners at 2016 Travvy Awards

Photo via Instagram/Tom Cotter

The iconic Gotham Hall in New York City served as the perfect venue for the Academy Awards of the travel industry, the 2016 Travvy Awards Presented by Dream Vacations.

More than 150 Gold Award winners were announced among the 500 honorees at what has rapidly become the biggest night of the year for travel professionals.

“We wanted to deliver an even bigger and better award experience for you all and from what you’ve all told me, the 2016 Travvy Awards delivered,” travAlliancemedia president and CEO Mark Murphy said. “We wanted to pay homage to you, the travel professionals who dream bigger and better for your clients every day.”

The Islands of Tahiti, Sandals Resorts and Trafalgar walked away as the big winners of the night, taking home eight Gold Travvy Awards statuettes each.

The Islands of Tahiti took home honors for the Best Overall Honeymoon Destination, while Trafalgar won for Best Overall Escorted Tour Operator. Two Trafalgar executives took home individual awards, as President Paul Wiseman won Most Innovative Tour Operator Executive and Vice President of Marketing Lauren Smith won the Tour Operator Rising Star award.

Sandals took home awards for best Caribbean hotel, best all-inclusive luxury resort chain and best Caribbean luxury hotel, while Sandals founder and chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart took home his second straight award for Most Innovative All-Inclusive Resorts Executive.

Celebrity Cruises won for Best Premium Cruise Line and for Best Premium Cruise Ship for its Celebrity Eclipse. Royal Caribbean took home the award for Best Overall Cruise Line, one of their five awards on the night.

Mexico took home top honors for Best Overall Luxury Destination. The Aruba Tourism Authority took home Best Overall Tourism Board, Starwood Hotels & Resorts won Best Overall Hotel Chain and Travel Impressions took home the hardware for Best Overall Vacation Packager.


READ MORE: The Winners List: The 2016 Travvy Awards Presented by Dream Vacations


“What an amazing venue to properly honor the best and brightest of the travel industry,” Murphy said. “Travel agents are the true heroes of our industry, and so it’s only fitting that they are honoring the true hero suppliers and stars of the travel world.”

More than 39,000 agents and travel professionals voted for this year’s winners, a 20 percent increase in voters from the inaugural event in 2015. Due to popular demand from last year’s attendees, Travvy officials expanded the list of categories significantly for 2016.

Comedian Tom Cotter of “America’s Got Talent” fame had the sellout crowd crying tears of laughter, while hip hop violinist Svet provided an energetic musical intermission in what attendees described as the most unique and entertaining awards show they’ve ever attended.

Social media was abuzz with plaudits and excitement live from Gotham Hall. Here’s a taste of what travel professionals were Tweeting, shooting and sharing:

The Travvys on Twitter

The Travvys on Instagram


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