Exceptional Achievement Award 2017

Travel Talk

Each year we invite senior members of the travel industry to judge from a group of nominees a person whose has made an exceptional contribution to travel for the over 50s.

In 2017 our nominees are:

Jo Rzymowska Jo Rzymowska
Managing Director – UK, Ireland and APAC
Celebrity Cruises

Jo’s lengthy career, starting as a rep in Mallorca, has given her experience of travellers across all ages. Her current role allows her and her team the opportunity to create luxury cruises, with the awareness that those over 50 enjoy many of the finer things in life! Within the industry, Jo has received many awards and is particularly known for her championship of matters LGBT. 

Mike Collins Mike Collins
Managing Director
Tropical Sky

Service is at the forefront of the ethos at Tropical Sky, which Mike founded in 2005, with specialist sub-brands for long-haul destinations. Mike is keenly aware of the diverse and adventurous requirements of the mature traveller, who seeks leisurely opportunities to enjoy culture. Tropical Sky has won awards inside and outside the industry.

David Clemson David Clemson
Managing Director
Riviera Travel

Riviera Travel, much loved by silver travellers, is a recommended Which? provider due to the culture David has been instrumental in growing, namely deliver a genuine experience and never cut corners. His customers are very loyal as a result. Under David’s leadership, Riviera has become the UK’s largest escorted touring operator and river cruise line. 

Wendy Atkin-Smith Wendy Atkin-Smith
Managing Director
Viking Cruises

In her current role, Wendy has been highly innovative and is responsible for bringing river cruising to our televisions, with bespoke advertising aimed purely at the over 50s. She has focussed on thoroughly understanding thoroughly understanding her customers, their desires and wishes, which has led to Viking’s success.


Francis Torilla Francis Torrilla
Managing Director
Specialist Businesses at Kuoni UK

Francis has many years in travel, however his experience at Kuoni and in particular, heading up Jules Verne have led him to appreciate and respond to the needs of the older traveller – and whilst they may be less fast-paced than ‘young things’, they are certainly not dull. Recent new destinations, responding to older clients’ requests, include Iran and North Korea. 

The judges this year are:

John McEwan, former President of ABTA

Mark Palmer, Travel Editor, Daily Mail

Derek Moore, Chairman of AITO

Maria Whiteman, Managing Director of Saga Holidays

Caroline Brown, Commercial Director of Shearings

Andrew Williams, Managing Director of Solos Holidays

Lyn Hughes, Editor of Wanderlust Magazine

Ben Briggs, Head of Marketing, Wendy Wu Tours

Amie Keeley, News Editor, Travel Weekly

Back to Silver Travel Awards 2017

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