Published on Wednesday, May 12, 2004

TravelMole announces 2004 web awards winners

Top executives gathered from all sectors of the industry last night to hear the announcement of the TravelMole Web Awards 2004, which recognised the online success of some well known and some less well known names.

The winners of the TravelMole Web Awards 2004 were presented with their award during a ceremony at the Sheraton Park Tower hotel in London. There was hot competition this year thanks to a record number of nominations competing in 12 categories.

TravelMole would like to thank the judging panel, without whose energy and enthusiasm the awards would not be such a success. Liz Craig of OneGlobe Network and her team of MBA students whittled the nominations to a shortlist of around four in each category. It was then up to a team of judges to decide the winners. The team was Bill Taylor, Advantage Travel Centres; Chris Petzny, Interesource; Pete Warren, Dot New Media; and Prof Andrew Frew, Dept of Travel and Tourism at Queen Margaret’s University College Edinburgh.

The first award was the travel agency website category, sponsored by Comtec Europe. The award was won by Magicbreaks.com, a website which proved easy to search with a well thought-out and user-friendly booking process.

Commenting on the win, internet manager Nik Burton told TravelMole: "The industry has matured to a point where websites like us for the independent traveller can compete with the big industry players, and this award proves that."

The next award was presented to the top online-only agency. It was sponsored by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and was won by Travellerspoint.com, which was found to be excellent in layout, navigability and ease of use. Brothers Peter and Samuel Daams collected the award. Travelocity was also mentioned during the award ceremony for coming a very close second.

The third award was the tour operator website, sponsored by Amadeus Tours. It was won by Canvasholidays.co.uk, for its high score on the key basics of fitness for the purpose, good organisation and up-to-date content. Web manager Claire Alexander collected the award.

Next was the airline website award, sponsored by Dolphin FlightScanner. The award was won by a well-known industry website that was deemed to be of a clear high quality right from log-on. Thomsonfly.com beat stiff competition including last year’s winner, unitedairlines.co.uk. TUI UK development manager at New Media, Liz Cambridge, collected the award.

The hotel website category was particularly competitive and saw the beautiful Boraboralagoon.com succeed over five others on the grounds of its stunning visual content. Site designer James Scully, and head technical architect Andrew Wood collected the award.

The tourist board category, sponsored by Omnitourism UK was also a tough one, with five on the shortlist. The eventual winner was said to "sweep you into the site" and was fun without losing sight of the practical. It was Escapetotheedge.co.uk. The award was received by director, Greg Hart, who told TravelMole: "We are thrilled to get this award because we only launched the new site a month or so ago. The award provides superb recognition of the effort we put into researching the market and
creating an attractive product that works.."

A new category – cruise and ferry operator was sponsored by Travel Media Solutions and won by Islandcruises.com. Marketing manager, Andy Furlong picked up the award for the site that was commended by the judges for being welcoming and easy to navigate with good option menus at all key points.

The winning car rental website, sponsored by TravelMole Plus was Budget.co.uk. It succeeded because of its ease of use and design values. Marketing manager EMEA Andy Lewis collected the award.

The web-based technology category, sponsored by Sabre Travel Network, was one by Netizen which came head and shoulders above the rest for its clear, concise and comprehensive guide to a well-presented product. Netizen’s Fiona Canavan collected the award.

Another new category was travel management website, an area which the judges said could do with "lightening up a little". The winner, commended for good levels of all-round competence and clear design values was waytetravel.co.uk. Director Chris Morris told TravelMole he was delighted to collect the award among stiff competition from the big industry players like American Express and Carlson Wagonlit.

The Recruitment site category, sponsored by the Tourism Society was won by seasonworkers.com, and was collected by director Mike Ferguson. The website was considered to have fewest visual or content-related distractions from the core business of finding suitable employment.

The last category was responsible tourism, which was a fitting finale to the awards ceremony, which followed the TravelMole Fast Conference on sustainable tourism.

The category was sponsored by Worldspan and the winner was Banyantree.com/greenimperative, which stood out for being clear, concise and beautiful. The look and feel was considered to be ideally suited to its conservation credentials.


TravelMole would like to say congratulations to all the winners and to once again thank our panel of judges.

If you want to catch up with what went on during the TravelMole Fast Conference on sustainable tourism, check out Thursdays newswire for a summary of the debate, or log on to www.travelmole.com after 11am on Thursday.

A live webcast of the debate will be available through www.travelmole.com on TravelMole Plus at 4pm on Wednesday and Thursday and the highlights will be available to watch on demand from Friday. The edited web awards ceremony will be available for viewing from Thursday.

Report by Ginny McGrath

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  • Many thanks from all at Netizen

    Just wanted to say on behalf of all at Netizen, thanks to all at Travelmole and the judges for choosing our Interactive Mapping Tool as winner of Best Use of Web Technology 2004. We are of course delighted! Maps are an important part of most travel websites. Our Dynamic Mapping System allows travel companies to create attractive maps for their websites in-house. They can then add content such as images, slideshows, video etc to the maps themselves which is ideal for rapidly changing or expanding products. The Netizen mapping module also produces dynamic maps which can be populated with location data, on the fly, based on the results displayed on a web page (for example the location of properties found during a search of a database). Visit our website, www.netizen.co.uk for more details about other applications of our mapping system. P.S Excuse the plug!! Thanks again...

    By Loic Robertson, Thursday, May 13, 2004

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