Travel firm in running for top industry award – Teesdale Mercury

THUMBS UP: Kyle Travel manager Carol Kirby is delighted at the nomination for a top industry award for showing resilience and good customer service throughout 2020

A BARNEY travel agency has been shortlisted for a top award after being nominated by tour operators, airlines and hotel companies for showing resilience in one of the worst years for the industry.
Kyle Travel has been named as one of the top five travel agencies in the north east by the Trade Travel Gazette (TTG) in the run up to the finals of their annual awards and staff are delighted with the news.
Manager Carol Kirby, worked from home single-handedly for the first seven weeks of the pandemic, ensuring about 1,000 clients received refunds, transferred bookings as well as helping repatriate clients when lockdown was first introduced in March.
She said: “To be recognised in the awards is great. It is the icing on the cake.
“To be named as one of the top five agencies in the north east is a massive morale boost and just what we all needed.
“There are a lot of agencies in the north east and this means a lot to us here.”
She added: “Essentially, we have been chosen by the tour operators that we deal with because of our knowledge and experience and how we have dealt with everything this year.”
It is the first time the team at Kyle Travel Services, in Barney, has been nominated for an award with TTG and they will be competing against their sister agency in Yarm, Hays Travel, at the Metro Centre and Wallsend, as well as Westoe Travel, in South Shields, for the regional crown.
Sophie Griffiths, TTG editor, said: “This year, the industry needs to reflect on its own resilience and determination more than ever and we wanted to bring some positivity to what has been an extremely difficult 12 months for us all.”
Ms Kirby said: “We have to provide a lot of supporting information to the panel of judges on what we did and how we dealt with customers. I will be spending a bit of time going through all of that. Then I have to be interviewed virtually using Zoom as well.
“It makes you feel so much better that all the work and effort has been worth it.
“We have stayed positive throughout because we need to for our customers and it’s been our positivity that has kept us going.”
Ms Kirby and her team – Kim Race, Vicki Thornton and Olivia Buchanan – are continuing to work reduced hours at their Galgate-base but are hoping the new vaccines will help ease restrictions for all in the coming months.
The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held at The Vox, in Birmingham, or virtually depending upon Covid-19 restrictions, on Friday, March 19.