2019 Group Travel Awards

Celebrating the very best suppliers to the group travel industry.

Browse this issue 2019 Group Travel Awards
The digital edition of our 2019 Group Travel Awards Review supplement is now available!

Following our gala presentation evening, held on Friday 7th June, we are delighted to reveal the winners of the 2019 Group Travel Awards.

We celebrated the 23rd edition of the prestigious Group Travel Awards at London’s Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel. The BAFTA award-winning television presenter, Michaela Strachan, was our fantastic awards host, alongside Landor Travel Publications’ Partnership and Product Director, Sarah Jeffery. Together they welcomed the winners from the 26 nominated award categories (voted for by readers of GTO magazine and the Group Travel Grapevine) and five special editor’s awards.

As well as the awards ceremony, guests were treated to a wonderful evening’s entertainment full of opportunities to catch up with colleagues. Beginning with a glamorous drinks reception sponsored by BODY WORLDS London, the night’s events included dancing to live music performed by the talented All Covered Up, as well as stars of the stage, Sorelle Marsh and Georgina Castle, who entertained the crowd by performing several songs from the West End’s long-running musical Mamma Mia!

The Group Travel Awards are the highlight of the group travel industry year, and the GTO team would like to thank all sponsors of the awards for 2019, and we look forward to catching up with you all again at our Awards evening in 2020.

2019 Gallery

The 2019 winners are…

Best Airline for Groups
  • Winner: Jet2.com
  • Runner-up: British Airways
  • easyJet
  • Flybe
  • KLM
  • Virgin Atlantic
Best European Destination for Groups
  • Winner: Ireland
  • Runner-up: Germany
  • Belgium
  • Brussels
  • Cyprus
  • Prague
  • Switzerland
Best Ocean Cruise Line Operator for Groups
  • Winner: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
  • Runner-up: Cruise & Maritime Voyages
  • Emerald Waterways
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • P&O Cruises
  • Voyages to Antiquity
Best Information Product for Groups
  • Winner: City & Village Tours Brochure 2019
  • Runner-up: greatdays.co.uk
  • Delfont Mackintosh Theatres Groups Guide
  • English Heritage Group Visits Guide 2018/2019
  • Leeds Castle Group & Travel Trade Guide 2019/2020
  • The National Trust Groups Guide 2018
  • justforgroups.com
Best Group Dining Experience
  • Winner: Bateaux London
  • Runner-up: Planet Hollywood
  • Blenheim Palace
  • Faulty Towers; The Dining Experience
  • Frankie & Bennie’s
  • SS Great Britain
  • The Medieval Banquet
Best Coach Operator for Groups
  • Winner (Large): Lucketts Travel
  • Winner (Small): Eastons Holidays
  • Runner-up (Large): Edwards Coaches
  • Runner-up (Small): Dunwood Travel
  • Bakers Dolphin
  • Daish’s Holidays
  • David Ogden Holidays
  • Harry Shaw
  • Kirby’s Coaches
  • Shearings
  • Solus Coaches
Best Animal or Sea Life Attraction for Groups
  • Winner: West Midland Safari & Leisure Park
  • Runner-up: ZSL London Zoo
  • Longleat
  • Monkey World
  • Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve & Leisure Park
  • SEA LIFE London Aquarium
  • Woburn Safari Park
Best Sea Crossing Operator for Groups
  • Winner: P&O Ferries
  • Runner-up: DFDS
  • Condor Ferries
  • Eurostar
  • Eurotunnel
  • Wightlink
Best Group Tour Operator
  • Winner: IOW Tours
  • Runner-up: Greatdays Travel Group
  • Runner-up: Travelsphere
  • Airedale Tours
  • Daish’s Holidays
  • Just for Groups!
  • Riviera Travel
  • Simply Groups
  • South Quay Travel
  • Travel Editions
Best Holiday Park for Groups
  • Winner: Potters Resort, Hopton, Norfolk
  • Runner-up: Norton Grange Coastal Village, Isle of Wight (Warner Leisure Hotels)
  • Devon Cliffs, Exmouth (Haven)
  • Lower Hyde Holiday Park, Isle of Wight (Parkdean Resorts)
  • Mill Rythe Holiday Village, Hayling Island (Away Resorts)
Best Family Day Out
  • Winner: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
  • Runner-up: Natural History Museum
  • Beaulieu
  • Burghley House
  • Drayton Manor Theme Park
  • Legoland Windsor Resort
  • Longleat
Best European Attraction for Groups
  • Winner: Disneyland Paris
  • Runner-up: Guinness Storehouse, Ireland
  • Cologne Cathedral, Germany
  • Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands
  • Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
  • Titanic Belfast, Northern Ireland
Best Individual Hotel for Groups
  • Winner: St Kilda Hotel, Llandudno
  • Runner-up: Rendezvous Hotel, Skipton
  • Claremont Hotel, Eastbourne (Daish’s)
  • Constantinou Bros Athena
  • Beach Hotel, Paphos
  • Daish’s Hotel, Isle of Wight
  • The Strand Palace Hotel, London
  • Thoresby Hall Hotel, Ollerton (Warner Leisure Hotels)
  • Yarn Market Hotel, Dunster
Best Group Ticketing Agency
  • Winner: Group Line
  • Runner-up: Encore Tickets
  • Delfont Macintosh Theatres
  • Groups Direct
  • See Groups
  • Ticket Factory
  • Ticketline
  • Ticketmaster
Best Event for Groups
  • Winner: Thursford Christmas Spectacular
  • Runner-up: Christmas at Kew
  • Classical Spectacular – Royal Albert Hall
  • Edinburgh Tattoo
  • John Rutter’s Christmas Celebration – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Longleat’s Festival of Light
  • RHS Hampton Court Flower Show
  • Royal Ascot
Best Canal or Riverboat Operator for Groups
  • Winner: River Cruise Line
  • Runner-up: City Cruises
  • Canterbury Historic River Tours
  • CroisiEurope Cruises
  • French Brothers
  • MBNA Thames Clippers
  • Thames River Services
Best Rail Operator for Groups
  • Winner: Eurostar
  • Runner-up: GWR
  • CrossCountry
  • LNER
  • South West Trains
  • Virgin Trains
Best Company or Venue Offering Guided Tours
  • Winner: Houses of Parliament
  • Runner-up: City & Village Tours
  • BBC Tours
  • Canterbury Guided Tours
  • Emmerdale Village Tour
  • Groups Direct
  • Royal Albert Hall
  • Shakespeare’s Globe
  • The Original Tour
Best West End Production
  • Winner: Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
  • Runner-up: The Lion King
  • 42nd Street
  • Aladdin
  • Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
  • Les Misérables
  • Mamma Mia!
  • Wicked
Best University Accommodation for Groups
  • Winner: University Of Kent, Canterbury
  • Runner-up: Cardiff University
  • Imperial College London
  • St Aidan’s College at Durham University
  • University of Portsmouth
  • York Conferences at The University of York
Best Historic House and/or Garden for Groups
  • Winner: RHS Garden Wisley
  • Runner-up: Osborne House
  • Blenheim Palace
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Chatsworth House
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Hever Castle
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • The Savill Garden
Most Group Friendly Hotel Chain or Group
  • Winner: Daish’s Hotel Group
  • Runner-up: Warner Leisure Hotels
  • Abacus Hotels
  • GLH Hotels
  • Jurys Inn
  • Leisureplex Hotels
  • TLH Leisure Resort
Best Attraction for Group Visits – London
  • Winner: Buckingham Palace
  • Runner-up: The View from The Shard
  • BODY WORLDS London
  • Churchill War Rooms
  • Coca-Cola London Eye
  • Cutty Sark
  • Houses of Parliament
  • Royal Albert Hall
  • Tower of London
Best Attraction for Group Visits – Outside London
  • Winner: The Beatles Story
  • Runner-up: Bletchley Park
  • Aerospace Bristol
  • Brighton i360
  • Leighton Hall
  • Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
  • Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust
  • Waddesdon Manor
Best UK Destination for Groups
  • Winner: Kent
  • Runner-up: Bristol
  • Bournemouth
  • Canterbury
  • Isle of Wight
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Manchester

Special award winners…

Innovation in Tourism
  • BODY WORLDS London
Little Treasures of Britain Award
  • Boscombe Down Aviation Collection
Development of Incoming Group Visitors to the UK Award
  • Great West Way – Discover England Fund Project
Technological Innovation Award
  • Hurtigruten
Outstanding Contribution to Group Travel by an Individual Award
  • Lesley Terrell

Group Travel Awards 2019 Highlights

Introducing Michaela

Michaela Strachan Our award’s host for the 2019 Group Travel Awards was Michaela Strachan. One of Britain’s most loved television presenters, BAFTA award-winning Michaela Strachan, has been a regular face on our screens for over three decades.

Michaela is one of the regular presenting team on Springwatch and has recently been back on BBC Two for Autumnwatch and Winterwatch. Michaela has worked extensively as a presenter on the BBC, spending 15 years presenting the hugely popular The Really Wild Show and 10 years on Countryfile, as well as Orangutan Diaries, Elephant Diaries, Shark Encounters and Orangutan Rescue.

Her presenting career began on such programmes as TV-am, The Wide Awake Club with Timmy Mallett, Boogie Box, The Hitman and Her and The Really Wild Show. Other successful shows include Michaela’s Wild Challenge (Channel 5), which was a double BAFTA award-winning production, earning Michaela the BAFTA for Best Children’s Presenter and the programme the BAFTA for Best Children’s Factual.

Other programmes for Channel 5 include Michaela’s Zoo Babies, Michaela’s Animal Road Trip, Animal Rescue Squad and Animal Families. Michaela also presented two series of Great British Ghosts (Yesterday TV), One Man and his Dog (BBC), The Fossil Roadshow (BBC), Full Bloom (BBC) and Club Vegetarian (Granda TV).

Recently, Michaela has been touring zoos, wildlife parks and festivals with her children’s show Michaela Strachan’s Really Wild Adventures, a fun, factual, educational and interactive show which has been adapted from her book of the same name. And over the summer of 2018, Michaela completed a tour of the arena spectacular Walking with Dinosaurs playing the part of Huxley the palaeontologist with a cast of life sized animatronic dinosaurs.

Our band for the night

Excellent live music is a staple of the Group Travel Awards and this year All Covered Up, an outstanding collaboration of the UK’s top professional musicians of the moment, entertained guests after the Award presentation.

The band includes some of the most talented musicians on the circuit and they were carefully selected for the evening for their excellent talents, their electrifying sound and the energy that they bring to every performance.

The band members have played, recorded and backed top artists including Alesha Dixon, Usher, Craig David and Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

The 2019 Group Travel Awards is proud to be sponsored by:

Body Worlds LondonThe Channel Tunnel GroupCity CruisesDaish's HolidaysDiscover AnimalsDiscover Britain's TownsDisneyland ParisEurostarFred Olsen Cruise LinesFuture TourismGO Travel ShowGroup LineGroup Travel Business ForumHotel PlannerIOW ToursJet2.commadeMamma Mia!Planet HollywoodSouth West Group Travel ShowTheatre.LondonTravel EditionsTravelsphereThe View From The ShardUKinboundUniversity of KentWarner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry PotterJeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds: The Immersive ExperienceWest Midland Safari Park

Sponsorship of a category at the 2020 Group Travel Awards is a great profile raising opportunity, and gives your company branding across a multitude of platforms.

In exchange for your sponsorship, we offer:

  • Editorial coverage in GTO Magazine in issues leading up to the event, as well as our Group Travel Grapevine email newsletter.
  • Complimentary seats at the gala evening presentation event.
  • Coverage in the Awards Menu.
  • Your logo to appear on a PowerPoint display during the gala evening, plus enhanced exposure when you present your category.
  • Your company logo displayed prominently on the Group Travel Awards website, together with a direct link to your own web site.
  • Together with our Celebrity Host, you will present the trophy to the winner of your chosen category.
  • Editorial coverage regarding your involvement in the awards will be published in the special Awards Supplement which accompanies the June/July 2020 issue of GTO Magazine after the event.
  • Logo credits on e-mails promoting the event.

Sponsorship of The Group Travel Awards is an opportunity to invest and celebrate in group travel excellence!

Contact Sarah Jeffery

Sarah JefferyWith a passion for travel, Sarah has worked within the industry for almost 20 years. 18 of these have been spent with Landor Travel Publications, specialising in the group travel industry; working on GTO Magazine, together with regional and national group travel exhibitions. The 2020 Group Travel Awards will be the 12th that Sarah has organised and are the highlight of Sarah’s industry calendar.

To discuss sponsorship opportunities or should you have any questions about the awards, please contact Sarah via one of the methods below.

+44 (0)1424 572088 sarah.jeffery@grouptravelorganiser.com @GTO_Sarah
In addition to sponsorship of a category at the 2020 Group Travel Awards, other sponsorship opportunities are:
Drinks Reception
Table Centres
Gala Dinner Menu
Table Plans and Place Cards
Fun Casino

2020 Group Travel Awards

The Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel

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