You see the same signs in tourist towns all over the world – Voted best hotel! Voted best bar! Voted best pizza! Awards can be a quick way of sorting the wheat from the chaff, especially when you’re away from home, but only if you can verify who’s handing out the prizes. No use eating at the “best” fish and chip shop in England, if there was only one judge and it was the owner’s mum.

We’re fortunate in this country, because the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is the group of professionals that’s been keeping an eye on the industry since way back in 1957.

In Australia, any travel business worth their salt is part of AFTA, so when they roll out the National Travel Industry Awards each year, which recognizes and rewards excellence in the local industry, you can trust the results.

Covering almost 40 categories, ranging from best hotel group to best domestic airline (and judged by a panel of 12 industry veterans) we were chuffed to see our partner TripADeal on the list of winners for 2017; taking home the silverware for Best Online Travel Agency.

After the confetti had settled, we spoke with Richard Johnston, one of the TripADeal co-founders, to see what the award means to them.

“Accolades like this feel very much like a team achievement,” Johnston said, from Byron Bay. “For me personally, the overarching feeling is one of gratitude for the awesome team we have. The award really speaks to the amazing journey we’ve been on and validates all the hard work that’s gone into making this company what it is today.”

To say thank you to their customers, TripADeal are offering $100 off any international deal that includes airfares (excluding 2 for 1 deals) until August 2. If you’re reading this prior to that date, just give TripADeal a call on 1300 00 TRIP (8747) and quote “TripADeal best online travel agency” to get the discount.

Image: The TripADeal squad take a quick break from making travel dreams come true to celebrate.

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