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Sunday 19 November 2017
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31 Oct 2017
Founder of named finalist for inaugural female travel awards

Abi Wright, the co-founder and managing director of, has been named as a finalist at the inaugural everywoman in Travel Awards.

Wright, who founded the online spa booking service in 2008, is one of three women to have been shortlisted for the awards’ entrepreneur category.

Within 10 years, Wright has taken from a two-person business to a company employing more than 100 members of staff, managing 6,000 enquiries a week, and hitting a turnover of more than £20m last year.

The 2017 everywoman in Travel Awards will select winners across six categories. The Entrepreneur award will be given to an owner/operator of a travel business who has been operating for three years or more, and whose “vision will inspire other women to start their own enterprise”.

Organised by everywoman – a membership organisation championing the advancement of women in business – the awards have been set up to celebrate women in the travel industry.

According to figures quoted by everywoman, 72 per cent of all travel agents are women, yet only 33 per cent of leadership roles at travel organisations are occupied by women. Female representation in the boardroom is even lower, with an estimated five to eight per cent of corporate board member roles being held by women.

“We have selected some of the most talented women currently working in the UK’s travel industry and are confident their success stories will be a true inspiration to the next generation,” said Karen Gill MBE, co-founder of everywoman.

“What makes this group of women truly unique is the diversity of talent they represent across the whole sector.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 16 November.

The full list of finalist for the 2017 everywoman in Travel Awards:

One to Watch

Awarded to a young game-changer in education or an apprenticeship who demonstrates a passion for the travel industry:

Ellie Barton, apprentice, Hays Travel from Darlington

Albane Grimprel, business student, GEM (Grenoble Ecole de Management) from London

Sylvana Walsh, customer and owner service advisor, Hoseasons from Lowestoft

Tomorrow’s Leader
Awarded to a woman under 30 making a significant contribution to the sector.

Rebecca Hipkin, travel support team leader, Intrepid Group from London

Sophie Holtom, business services manager, arrangeMY from Worcester

Jillian Jackson, loyalty & partnerships executive, Hilton from Glasgow


Awarded to an owner/operator of a travel business that has been operating for three years or more, whose vision will inspire other women to start their own enterprise.

Jessica Bain, co-founder and head of Trade Relations, Latin Routes, from Surrey

Mary McKenna, managing director, Tour America, from Dublin

Abi Wright, co-founder and managing director,, from Newbury, London

Above & Beyond

Awarded to a woman at any stage of her career that has truly gone above and beyond her role to help drive the organisation's success.

Susan Boxall, customer service executive, Kuoni Travel, from Dorking

Wendi Knibbs, global sales evolution Specialist, Hilton, from Watford

Karen Morris, global operations director, Travel Counsellors, from Manchester

Team Leader

Awarded to a woman whose team leadership has greatly contributed to the organisation’s success.

Anna Macleod, business travel manager, arrangeMY, from Worcester

Sacha Peters, head of marketing, Ski Solutions, from London

Angela Terry, contact centre manager, TUI, from Swansea


Awarded to a woman making a significant contribution to the strategic direction of the business.

Wendy Atkin-Smith, managing director, Viking Cruises UK, from London

Lindsey Esse, managing director, Darwin Escapes, from Oxford

Helen Caron, distribution & cruise director, TUI, from Luton.

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17 Nov 2017
IAAPA 2017: Brass Ring winners announced
IAAPA has announced its winners for this year’s Brass Ring Awards, recognising a number of companies at the annual IAAPA expo for their achievements in excellence across different parts of the industry.
15 Nov 2017
ESPA spa at Gleneagles named ‘best in the UK’
The Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA has been named the best UK spa at this year’s 2017 Good Spa Guide Awards.
14 Nov 2017
IAAPA 2017: Four join prestigious Hall of Fame at Opening Ceremony
IAAPA has welcomed four new members into its prestigious Hall of Fame, with Puy du Fou’s Phillipe De Villiers, Give Kids the World Village’s Pamela and Henry Landwirth, and music composer Richard Sherman all named in this year’s class of inductees.
09 Nov 2017
Russian Spa Congress shows market potential
Last week, almost 250 spa professionals gathered in the Caucasus thermal springs region of Russia for the 4th annual Spa & Wellness International Congress, or SWIC.
08 Nov 2017
Emotional healing, self-development, retreats: Photi reveals trends to watch in wellness travel
The wellness travel market will continue the dramatic change seen over the past 10 years, according to Stella Photi, founder of Wellbeing Holidays.
06 Nov 2017
IAAF plans clearer world rankings system and heritage department to boost participation
The qualifications system for the athletics World Championships and the Olympic Games will be redesigned in an effort to make the sport clearer and increase participation at all levels.
01 Nov 2017
Future of wellness travel to dominate WTS agenda
The future of wellness travel and how to gain a competitive edge within the booming sector will feature heavily at this year’s Wellness Travel Symposium (WTS).
25 Oct 2017
Hot springs leaders gather in US for 2nd annual Global Thermal Think Tank
The second annual Global Thermal Think Tank took place earlier this month in California and New Mexico, US, bringing together world leaders in hot springs for days of talks and thermal experiences.
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Diary dates
17-19 Nov 2017
SpaCE (Spas of Central Europe) Show
Radenci Spa & Health Resort
20 Nov 2017
Awards for Hospitality Experience and Design (AHEAD) - EUROPE
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20-21 Nov 2017
Destinations & Travel Management Summit
Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted
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21-22 Nov 2017
Sleep: The Hotel Design Event
The Business Design Centre
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22 Nov 2017
Postgraduate & Professional Open Evening
Bucks New University
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23 Nov 2017
Beautyworld Middle East Roadshow to Nigeria
Sheraton Hotel
23-24 Nov 2017
European Health Prevention Day
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27 Nov 2017
Leisure, FEC and Indoor Play Trade Exhibition
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27 Nov 2017
FEC Excellence Awards 2017
Drayton Manor Hotel
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27-29 Nov 2017
TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit
NH Collection Barcelona Constanza
28-29 Nov 2017
Grand Hyatt Hotel
Hong Kong SAR
29 Nov 2017
Sports Broadcasting & New Media Rights: Their Ownership, Protection & Commercial Exploitation - A Masterclass
United Kingdom
29-30 Nov 2017
Fiera Milano Congressi
04 Dec 2017
SpaHive Mastermind
The Publick House
United States
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