Pukekohe Travel scoops honours at Australasia 16th Annual Cruise Industry Awards

Jim and Eve Murphy, left, Gail Littin and Damian O'Connor from Pukekohe Travel.

Jim and Eve Murphy, left, Gail Littin and Damian O'Connor from Pukekohe Travel.

Pukekohe Travel is firmly in cruise control.

The locally-owned travel business won the New Zealand Gold Agency award and store manager Gail Littin was named New Zealand Cruise Consultant of the Year at the Cruise Lines International Association Australasia 16th Annual Cruise Industry Awards.

This was the first time an agency in New Zealand had won the two awards in the same year.

Owners Jim and Eve Murphy have run the business for 38 years, while Gail has worked there for more than 23 years.

Eve attended the awards ceremony in Sydney earlier this month, which Jim said were the "Oscars" of the cruise line industry.

Gail said she was honoured to have received the consultant of the year award.

"It's great for me but it's also great for the office, because we're a team.

"It's really brilliant and the first time it's ever happened and very good for a town like Pukekohe."

Cruise holidays, Gail said, were popular for family trips, girls' getaways and honeymoon escapes.

"There's everything you could possibly wish for on a cruise ship."

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Gail and Eve are certified master cruise consultants, and their experience helped them to give clients the perfect holiday.

"What I like about the travel industry is putting the right product to the right person," Eve said.

However, Gail said there's always room to improve in the industry. 

"You've just got to keep researching and keep reading and keep learning."

The business had adapted over the years, especially with the introduction of the internet, Eve said.

"I always say that the internet didn't arrive overnight, and we saw it 12 years ago and how it was starting to affect us."

People still sought the trusty advice of travel agents, Gail said.

"You go to a lawyer because of law.

"You come to travel agent because they know what they're talking about."

Some common mistakes people made when travelling, Eve said, was not checking their passports were valid, surnames not matching travel documents and not having the right visa.

Gail said she always worked hard to make her clients feel special about their holidays. 

"It's their dream, so even if it's someone going from Auckland to Sydney, it's still important to them.

"They're equally important as the person who flies business class to London - everyone's important."

 - Stuff

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