Some 280 attendees had a night of entertainment hosted by ‘Jono and Ben’ where the crème de la crème of Helloworld franchisees were celebrated. Addressing the gathering, executive general manager, Simon Mckearney, thanked stores for another year of growth ‘without parallel’ in the market and welcomed a number of new stores to their first awards dinner. ‘Although the rate of growth in the industry starts to ease, Helloworld continues to take substantial market share which is a reflection and just reward for those who have committed to the Helloworld brand,’ he says.
The awards part of the evening saw a record number of recipients across supplier and Helloworld world benchmarks. Head of the branded network, Kim Grafton, also acknowledged the growth especially in such categories as cruise and touring. ‘I think it has helped that a major competitor shut down their cruise offering this year, which has flooded into the blue stores, but it is the higher levels of service that customers are becoming accustomed to in the Helloworld offering, especially when the stores can call upon expertise in our GO wholesale business.’ Big winners for the evening were: Helloworld Milford, Top Store; Helloworld Browns Bay, Most Improved Store; Helloworld Waipukarau, Community Store of the Year; Bruce Blacklock, Top Consultant. • Watch for photos in TRAVELinc Memo Friday 17 August