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Group Travel Awards winners

Group Travel Awards

The Group Travel Awards 2017, organised by GTO magazine, were held in central London on Friday 2 June.

Here’s the list of winners and runners-up. For full details about the awards scheme, go to www.grouptravelawards.com

Best UK Destination for Groups

Winner: London
Runner Up: Isle of Wight

Best Event for Groups

Winner: The Thursford Christmas Spectacular
Runner Up: The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Bath Christmas Market
BBC Good Food Shows
RHS Hampton Court Flower Shows
Royal Ascot
The Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford

Best Canal or Riverboat Operator for Groups

Winner: City Cruises, London
Runner Up: French Brothers, Windsor
Dudley Canal Trust
Princess River Cruises, Nottingham
Sabrina Boat, Shrewsbury
Salter’s Steamers, Oxford
Thames Rivercruise, Reading
The River Cruise Line

Best Sea Crossing Operator for Groups

Winner: Eurotunnel
Runner Up: P&O Ferries
Irish Ferries
Stena Line
Wightlink, Isle of Wight Ferries

Best Ocean Cruise Line Operator for Groups

Winner: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Runner Up: P&O Cruises
Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV)
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)
Royal Caribbean
Thomson Cruises

Best Coach Operator for Groups
Large Fleet

Winner: Bakers Dolphin, Weston-super-Mare
Runner Up: Shearing Holidays, Wigan

Small Fleet

Winner: Platinum Express, Wolverhampton
Runner Up: Lucketts Travel, Fareham

Alfa Travel, Chorley
Crusader Holidays, Clacton-on-Sea
Daish’s Holidays, Torquay
David Ogden Holidays, St Helens
Dunwood Travel, Dudley
Edwards Coaches, Pontypridd
Epsom Coaches, Surrey
Johnsons Coach & Bus Travel, Henley-in-Arden
Kings Coaches, Colchester
Scotland & Bates, Ashford

Best Airline for Groups

Winner: Jet2.com
Runner Up: British Airways
Aer Lingus
Virgin Atlantic

Best Railway Operator for Groups

Winner: Virgin Trains
Runner Up: CrossCountry
South West Trains

Best Group Dining Experience

Winner: Planet Hollywood, London
Runner Up: Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Bateaux London
Brick Lane Music Hall, London
Hard Rock Café, London
Rainforest Café, London
The Strand Palace, London

Best Company or Venue Offering Guided Tours

Winner: City & Village Tours
Runner Up: Groups Direct
Angels Costumes – The Tour, London
BBC Tours
Big Bus Tours, London
Emmerdale Village Tour
Jaguar Land Rover Factory Tours
The Houses of Parliament, London

Best Information Product for Groups (website or printed)

Winner: English Heritage Group Visits Guide 2016/17
Runner Up: www.greatdays.co.uk
The National Trust Groups Guide 2016

Best West End Production for Groups

Winner: The Lion King
Runner Up: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Half a Sixpence
Jersey Boys
Kinky Boots
Les Misérables
Motown The Musical
The Phantom of the Opera

Best Best Group Ticketing Agency

Winner: Group Line
Runner Up: Encore
Delfont Mackintosh Theatres
Groups Direct
See Groups
The Ticket Factory

Most Group-Friendly Hotel Chain or Group

Winner: Daish’s Hotel Group
Runner Up: Warner Leisure Hotels
Abacus Hotels
Best Western Hotels & Resorts
De Vere Hotels
Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts
TLH Leisure Resort

Best Individual Hotel for Groups

Winner: St Kilda Hotel, Llandudno
Runner Up: Knights Hill Hotel & Spa, Kings Lynn (Best Western/Abacus Hotels)
Preston Sands Hotel, Paignton
Queens Hotel, Blackpool (Leisureplex)
The Rendezvous Hotel, Skipton
The Russel Hotel, Weymouth (Daish’s Hotel Group)
Thoresby Hall, Nottinghamshire (Warner Leisure Hotels)

Best Holiday Park for Groups

Winner: Mill Rythe Holiday Village, Hayling Island (Away Resorts)
Runner Up: Potters Resort, Norfolk
Butlins, Bognor Regis
Norton Grange, Isle of Wight (Warner Leisure Hotels)
Seacroft Holiday Village, Norfolk (Richardsons)

Best University Accommodation for Groups

Winner: University of Kent, Canterbury
Runner Up: York Conferences at The University of York
Cardiff University
Leeds University
St Aidan’s College at Durham University
University of Portsmouth

Best Group Tour Operator

Winner: IOW Tours, Isle of Wight
Runner Up: Airedale Tours, West Yorkshire
David Urquhart Travel, East Kilbride
Greatdays Travel Group, Cheshire
InterChoice Holidays, Wolverhampton
Just for Groups! Norwich
Success Tours, Wiltshire
Tailored Travel, London

Best European Attraction for Groups

Winner: Disneyland Paris, France
Runner Up: Titanic Belfast, Northern Ireland
Eiffel Tower, France
Guinness Storehouse, Ireland
Ice Cave Langjökull, Iceland
Keukenhof Gardens, Holland
The Claude Monet Foundation, France

Best European Destination for Groups

Winner: Ireland
Runner Up: Belgium

Best Animal or Sea Life Attraction for Groups

Winner: West Midland Safari & Leisure Park, Worcestershire
Runner Up: ZSL London Zoo
Chester Zoo, Cheshire
Howletts Wild Animal Park, Kent
Longleat Safari & Adventure Park, Wiltshire
SEA LIFE London Aquarium
The National SEA LIFE Centre, Birmingham

Best Historical House and/or Garden for Groups

Winner: Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
Runner Up: Hampton Court Palace, Richmond upon Thames
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Buckingham Palace, London
Castle Howard, North Yorkshire
Eltham Palace, London
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Savill Garden, Windsor
Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

Best Family Day Out

Winner: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
Runner Up: Drayton Manor Theme Park, Staffordshire
Cadbury World, Birmingham
Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Surrey
Legoland Windsor Resort
Longleat’s Festival of Light, Wiltshire
The London Bridge Experience

Best Attraction for Group Visits

Winner: Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes
Runner Up: Coca-Cola London Eye
Beamish Open Air Museum, County Durham
Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Hampshire
Buckingham Palace, London
Eden Project, Cornwall
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London
The View from The Shard, London

Outstanding Contribution to Group Travel by an Individual

Geoff Holt

The Little Treasures of Britain Award

The Peto Garden, Iford Manor, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire

The Development of Incoming Group Visitors to the UK

Clovelly, Devon

The Editor’s Award for Innovation in Tourism

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage

The Editor’s Award for Technological Innovation

St Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury