The energy of Jurassic Park electrified the crowd that gathered for the second annual Agents’ Choice Awards Gala in Toronto last night (June 13) at Toronto’s Arcadian Court.
It was an evening to celebrate and reward 43 of Canada’s Favourite travel suppliers as selected by 6,512 travel agents from across Canada.
It was an evening to recognize the achievements of one member of the Canadian travel industry with the presentation of the W.H. Baxter Lifetime Achievement Award.
It was an evening in which Baxter Media invited its friends to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the annual Agents’ Choice Readership Survey – Canada’s only national survey of Canadian travel agents.
It was an evening where old friends reconnected and new friends were made.
It was an evening of great music, dancing, fine food and drink.
And it was THE evening that close to 400 of Canada’s top travel industry professionals were altogether to see the Toronto Raptors win their first National Basketball Association (NBA) championship, and making history by becoming the first – and so far only – Canadian professional basketball team to achieve this.
Baxter Media’s executive editor, Bob Mowat pointed out that: “Over the course of 20 years, one of the things that we’ve discovered is that suppliers who build their businesses in ways that make things better for travel agents are the ones who’ve become the perennial favourites of the agency community.”
And he continued: “I believe that speaks to how this industry has changed and matured since the late 1990s [when Agents’ Choice was launched]. Agents and suppliers have found common ground. They have recognized that they are stronger together than apart, and while disagreements may arise from time to time, working as partners will always be the better way.”
Highlights of the evening – and there were no end of them – included:
- The presentation of 43 awards to supplier favourites in 43 categories.
- 10 new favourites in six different categories.
- The presentation of the 2019 W.H. Baxter Award to Josef Ebner, RVP-Canada & managing director at Langham Hospitality Group – Chelsea Hotel Toronto.
- The presentation of the Favourite Supplier Reps awards to 35 of this country’s favourite business development managers.
- Our presenting sponsors – Air Canada & Air Canada rouge, Trafalgar and Sandals
- Our feature sponsors – WestJet, TravelBrands, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Tourism Ireland and Royal Irish Tours.
- And, call it coincidence, call it luck, call it whatever you will but the magic of being with close to 400 of Canada’s top travel professionals and witnessing the Toronto Raptors win the NBA Championship — now that was special.
In her welcome remarks at this year’s Gala, Baxter Media’s executive vice-president, Wendy McClung told the audience that: “Travel agents have been our constant and have always played a vital role. They are the front line sellers, the face of your company to their clients. There are no better advocates for the professionalism of this industry than our hard working travel agents.”
Don’t miss the third annual Agents’ Choice Awards Gala in 2020.