Inaugural Destinationaire Award winners announced

Worldwide: The five winners have been announced for the inaugural Destinationaire Award, which was launched last month by the host of the Slick Talk podcast, Wil Slickers.

Over 40+ nominations for the first ever Destinationaire Award were received, but every nominee was very much deserving of the title “Destinationaire”, according to Slickers. As the nominations trickled in, he said that he knew that this was going to be a pivotal moment for the Destinationaire concept seeing that there had never been a word for the concept, until now.

The winners were chosen by extensive research and time of vetting through their companies’ social media, websites, guest reviews, listings on other platforms, branding, and representation of the hospitality industry.

Slickers said: “A Destinationaire is innovative and creative in service of others. A Destinationaire is selfless and leads selflessly. A Destinationaire knows how to tell a story. A Destinationaire builds trust and confidence with guests and staff.

“A Destinationaire masters the art of first impressions and experiences. A Destinationaire knows their stuff and puts safety as a top priority. A Destinationaire builds direct brand loyalty and provides value.

“The definition of a Destinationaire is a person who is wired to create remarkable experiences that are anticipated and shared,” he added.

More than 13 industry partners and sponsors teamed up in order to put the prizes together and help promote and nominate in their networks, including I-PRAC CEO and founder, Chris Maughan, who provided the first prize.

Slickers said: “The year 2020 hasn’t been an easy year for any of us in the hospitality industry and all that were nominated for this award didn’t make selecting a winner any easier!” 

Michael Goldin, director of operations at NoiseAware, Deborah Labi, founder of Have You Got, Jill Mason, CEO of VR Scheduler, Cliff Johnson, co-founder of Rented Inc, and Richard Vaughton, co-founder of Yes Consulting, were all volunteers to help select their top five winners that they thought were the best fit for the Destinationaire Award standards. Slickers was the head judge who made the final call on the selections. 

Slickers said: “We had a little over a week to take all nominations and to go through every single aspect of who they are and how they represent themselves and the industry. I spent more than just a few of those nights staying up and looking at every website, social media page, reviews on every platform etc to ensure that whoever won would be a true example of the Destinationaire concept and set the tone for next year.

“This was no no easy task as everyone nominated does amazing work in our industry,” he added. 

The final winners were as follows:

1st: Tim Andrews with Ovo Network

2nd: Ellie Paget with Homeslice Stays

3rd: Bob Garner with Casal Dei Fichi

4th: Robin Craigen with Moving Mountains

5th: Jessica Hinton with Barefoot Vacation Rentals

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Tim Andrews from OVO Network won first prize [Credit: Wil Slickers]
Slickers said: “All were nominated for amazing reasons and again, it wasn’t easy to get to this conclusion. Each winner represents amazing uniqueness and a true hospitality heart and spirit.

“They showed selflessness in their leadership, amazing storytelling through branding and on other media platforms, and put trust and confidence along with safety at the forefront of operations while maintaining great guest experience. Congratulations everyone for fabulous work and doing what you do!

“As hard as this was, I love how this showed the amazing depth our industry has. Including all nominations to the finalists, it truly showcases the beautiful representation of hospitality.

“I am truly honoured to have had the opportunity to put this together. I am already working on changes for next year and can’t wait to see this grow,” he added. 

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Wil Slickers

To come from the award, the Destinationaire Club™ that was announced as part of the prizes for the top five winners will also include all nominees. According to Slickers, the club will be a “shared community from around the world that drives discussions to better each other, their communities and the industry”, that includes an online forum and a private club podcast with a deep dive on industry topics.