herald

Monday 21 January 2019

Row erupts over rival travel awards on same night

A BITTER row has erupted between the organisers of two Irish travel award nights, after both were scheduled for the same date.

The disagreement, occurred after both the Irish Travel Trade News (ITTN) magazine and TravelMedia.ie, scheduled awards for November 28.

What started out as an innocent clash of dates has become something of a war of words with neither side willing to back down.

TravelMedia has claimed that ITTN rejected a "very strong and generous proposal" to resolve the situation, while ITTN has blasted back that its rival was "self serving".

ITTN has for the past 23 years organised an awards night with categories voted on by an industry panel.

It claims to be the Irish travel industry's "Oscars".

Meanwhile, TravelMedia's awards are voted on by travel and consumer media.

Industry sources have told the Herald that there is "little appetite" for two awards ceremonies on the same night, with leading travel figures now being forced to make a choice to attend one or the other.

ITTN's awards have been scheduled to take place in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Dublin, while TravelMedia's night has been booked into the Clyde Court Hotel, formerly the Berkeley Court - a five-minute drive from each other.

In a statement, TravelMedia said its 2014 awards were announced on April 24 and that ITTN announced the same date for their awards a week later.

The company said that it "reached out" to ITTN twice, in April and again in May, suggesting all parties meet to try and find a solution.

"All parties met during the last week of August and then took a follow-up conference call at the start of September," it said. TravelMedia said that it and its sponsors had put forward a "very strong and generous proposal" which would have resolved the situation for all involved.

"The proposal was fair as it involved costs and pain on both sides," it said, adding that the proposal was turned down by ITTN on Monday.

In response, ITTN hit out at the suggestion that the proposal was fair. "No meaningful solution was forthcoming from TravelMedia, whose only 'solution'...was that ITTN should move our Golden Anniversary Awards and Christmas party to May 2015," it said in a statement.

The company added that TravelMedia had issued a "self-serving statement that attempted to disassociate themselves from their own responsibility" in the date clash.

lbyrne@herald.ie

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