For the first time Knock Travel owner Doreen McKenzie missed the Awards night and the news had to be relayed to her on holiday in Italy by Agency Manager Pauline Suttle. (Pauline is pictured receiving the award from Ciaran Mulligan of Category sponsors Blue Insurances).
More than 430 VIPs and decision-makers from the Province, the Republic and from all parts of the industry on the UK Mainland were at the 20th Awards hosted by Sky TV news anchorman Eamonn Holmes. A popular special guest of NI Travel News was Angela Rippon who had hosted the Awards for 10 successive years.
Despite another year of challenges in the general travel and tourism industry - and in the wider economic world - the emphasis was on celebrating the Trade's many achievements over the past 12 months at the 20th Awards ceremony.
"It's been another challenging year, but there's still been plenty of successes to celebrate," said Jonathan Adair of organisers Northern Ireland Travel News. "This event has come a long way since the first Awards in 1992. We cannot thank our sponsors enough, without their support the event would not be the phenomenal success it is."
It was a big night for popular businessman and travel industry luminary Mukesh Sharma who was presented with the Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Industry Award.
Two names were added to the Industry's Roll of Honour - those of Terra Travel's founder and respected Lurgan businessman Terry Murphy and that of Bill Moneypenny, the public face of Menary Travel, and the 'ideas man' behind such brands as Just Cities and Ultimate Horizons.
After the Awards, Jill Russell of Topflight proposed a Vote of Thanks to the organisers while earlier, Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board proposed the traditional toast to the "Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Industry.
THE AWARDS WERE: