Published on Friday, June 23, 2006
Lastminute.com, Easyjet and Royal Caribbean International were among the winners of this year"s Travelmole Web Awards.
The awards were presented at a ceremony at the Slovak Republic Embassy in London attended by winners, nominated companies and category sponsors.
Now in its third year, the TravelMole Web Awards received a record number of nominations, with over 1000 individual websites nominated across 12 categories.
The response was so high, this year the judges decided to select four shortlisted companies for each category instead of three.
Websites were judged by a team of internet specialists according to ease of navigation, clarity of purpose, functionality and effective and aesthetically- pleasing design.
The winners were:
* Easyjet - http://www.easyjet.co.uk/ - Best Airline Website
* Travel Republic - http://www.travelrepublic.co.uk/ - Best Travel Agency Website
* LastMinute - http://www.lastminute.com/ - Best Web-based Agency Website
* To Escape To - http://www.toescapeto.com/ - Best Tour Operator Website
* Business Travel Direct - http://www.businesstraveldirect.co.uk/ - Best Travel Management Website
* Royal Caribbean International - http://www.rccl.com/ - Best Cruise or Ferry Website
* Dohop -http://www.dohop.com/ - Technology Website
* Explore - http://www.explore.co.uk/ - Best Responsible Tourism Website
* Budget - http://www.budget.co.uk/ - Best Car Rental Website
* C&M - http://www.candm.co.uk/ - Best Recruitment Website
* Myhotels - http://www.myhotels.com/ - Best Hotels Website
* Nature Southwest - http://www.naturesouthwest.co.uk/ - Best Tourist Board Website
Nevine Hunt of Sabre and Sally Brown of Textwrite enjoy Slovakian Hospitality
C&M marketing manager Sarah Clayton-Turner said: "It's the second year in a row that we've won and again we are absolutely delighted. Having a good website in travel recruitment is vital these day as the majority of people are now looking for jobs online.
"We have worked hard to improve our website in the last two years and are continually updating and enhancing it and it's very reassuring to win this award again."
Frosti Sigurjonsson, general manager, dohop.com, the travel search engine based in Reykjavik, Iceland, flew in specially for the awards.
The site helps travellers identify the best flight options to reach a destination, combining different airlines - mainly by low-cost airlines but increasingly the traditional scheduled carriers too.
He said: "We use some pretty nifty technology on our site and I think that's why we have won this award. It was a great surprise to us, especially as we are not that well known in the UK market. Everybody knows us in Iceland and we are gradually hoping to expand worldwide. Based on the figures in Iceland, we would have 10 million users per day if we had the same success worldwide.
"We now have the site in English, French and Spanish. We expect this award will help us raise our profile in the UK and beyond."
Fiona Seton, commercial manager, Explore, winner of the award for responsible tourism, said: "Responsible travel has always been huge part of our company philosophy, but we have been pretty quiet about it. In the last two years we have been using our website more and more to get this philosophy in the public eye and raise awareness."
The site gives travellers information about the charities the company supports, the projects it carries out in the destinations it features, and how they can offset carbon emissions.
Budget's e-commerce manager Toby Roberts accepted the award for the best car rental site - the second win by the company in three years.
Specialist operator Toescapeto beat off competition from the likes of Thomson and Scott Dunn to pick up the best tour operator site award just three years after the business was founded by directors Ingram Casey and Tom Corcoran. The firm features boutique hotels, villas and even tree houses in Africa, the Seychelles and Mauritius and carries around 1,000 customers a year.
The best travel agency site award went to Kingston upon Thames-based Travel Republic.
Business Travel Direct took the best travel management site award and was also nominated in the best travel agency site category.
EasyJet beat off competition from British Airways, KLM and Vueling to win the best airline site award.
Royal Caribbean's award was collected by Matthew Smith and Ros Jones of the cruise line's web agency Positive Digital.
*Pictures of the presentations and full winner details will be live in the awards area on the TravelMole website at http://www.travelmole.com/
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.