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The Categories:

Coach Friendly Destination


This award is open for entries from villages, towns, cities, regions (geographic or tourist), islands and countries that can demonstrate not only a commitment to welcoming coaches, coach groups and coach drivers, but also what they’ve done to enhance that welcome over the last year. In addition to on-the-ground delivery, judges will be interested in examples of website development and partnership working.

Shortlist:
  • Beverley
  • Bournemouth
  • Burnham-on-Sea
  • Devon
  • Guildford
  • Otley
  • Wells

Coach Friendly Attraction


This award is open for entries from UK visitor attractions, shopping centres, dedicated out-of-town shopping retailers, garden centres and other attractions that demonstrate not only their commitment to welcoming coaches, coach groups and coach drivers, but also how that welcome has been developed/enhanced over the last year.

Shortlist:
  • Alton Towers
  • Belleek Pottery
  • Dyffryn Gardens (National Trust)
  • Longleat
  • National Memorial Arboretum
  • RHS Wisley, Hyde Hall, Rosemoor & Harlow Carr
  • Scampston Hall & Walled Garden
  • Scone Palace
  • The World of James Herriot
  • Woburn Abbey & Gardens

European Coach Friendly Attraction DFDS

Sponsored by: DFDS
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This award is open for entries from coach friendly visitor attractions in Europe. This includes visitor attractions, shopping centres, dedicated out-of-town shopping retailers, garden centres and other attractions that can demonstrate not only their commitment to welcoming coaches, coach groups and coach drivers from the UK, but also how that welcome has been developed/enhanced over the last year.

Shortlist:
  • Cambrai Tank Museum
  • Disneyland Paris
  • Jersey Zoo
  • Keukenhof
  • Lovers Canal Cruises

Cross-Sea Carrier

Sponsored by: Edwards Coach Holidays
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This award is open for entries from carriers that provide cross-sea services between the UK and the continent, and short-sea UK crossings. Judges will be looking for evidence of excellent day-to-day customer service (testimonials and operator feedback), plus evidence of how carriers have developed/enhanced the service offered to coach tour operators over the last year.

Shortlist:
  • Condor Ferries
  • Eurotunnel le Shuttle
  • Irish Ferries
  • P&O Ferries

River and Inland Cruise Operator Eastons Holidays

Sponsored by: Eastons Holidays
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This award is open to tourism suppliers that operate river, canal, lake and other inland cruises, whether it’s a 30-minute trip or a river cruise of several days. Judges will be looking for entrants that can demonstrate a commitment to welcoming coaches, coach groups and coach drivers, together with evidence of how that product has been developed/enhanced over the last year.

Shortlist:
  • Broads Tours
  • MBNA Thames Clippers
  • Sabrina Boat
  • Stuart Line Cruises
  • Trent River Cruises Ltd
  • Ullswater Steamers

Heritage Railway


This award is open for entries from operators of heritage railways (standard and narrow gauge). The judges will be looking for railway operators that can demonstrate a clear welcome and commitment to coaches, coach groups, and coach drivers, together with evidence of how that product has been developed/enhanced over the last year.

Shortlist:
  • Gwili Railway
  • Kirklees Light Railway
  • Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
  • Vale of Rheidol Railway
  • West Somerset Railway

Accommodation Provider (independent hotels) https://www.wmsp.co.uk/

Sponsored by: West Midland Safari Park
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This award is open to entries from individual hotels – including those that belong to a larger group, but wish to enter independently – and small chains (up to five hotels). The judges will be looking for hotels that can demonstrate not only a commitment to welcoming coaches, coach groups and coach drivers, but also how they have developed/enhanced that welcome over the last year.

Shortlist:
  • Away Resorts, Mill Rythe
  • Hallmark Hotel Preston Leyland
  • Marine Hotel
  • The Metropole Hotel & Spa
  • Rendezvous Hotel, Skipton

Accommodation Provider (hotel groups) Bakers Dolphin

Sponsored by: Bakers Dolphin
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This award is open to entries from hotel groups (six hotels and over). The judges will be looking for hotel brands that can demonstrate not only a commitment to welcoming coaches, coach groups and coach drivers, but also how they have developed/enhanced that welcome over the last year.

Shortlist:
  • Best Western Hotels
  • Hallmark Hotels
  • Hilton Worldwide
  • Marriott Hotels UK

Tour Wholesaler and Industry Supplier

Sponsored by: The View from The Shard & Planet Hollywood

This award is open to tour wholesalers, ticketing agencies and other business-to-business suppliers that provide packages and group planning services to coach tour operators. The judges will be looking for a business that can demonstrate an understanding of the needs of tour planners, with examples of how its products or those relationships have been developed or enhanced over the last year.

Shortlist:
  • Action Tours
  • Advantage Now
  • Encore
  • Greatdays Travel Group
  • Groups Direct
  • Hospitality Line
  • ICT Group Travel
  • Norman Allen Group Travel

Dining Experience (NEW)


This award is open to restaurants, cafés and other suppliers satisfying the catering needs of the masses, whether they offer a group dining experience by land, sea or sky. The judges will be looking for exciting dining experiences for groups, including a warm welcome, exquisite finishing touches, high-quality venue and atmosphere, excellent menu choices, well-presented meals, and a willingness to work with the group organiser to accommodate the group’s needs.

Shortlist:
  • Bateaux London
  • Newmarket Racecourses
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Poplars Garden Centre
  • Waxy O'Connors

Theatre Production - readers choice award (NEW)

Sponsored by: Group Tourism & Travel Magazine
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This is our first people’s choice award. We are inviting you to nominate your favourite West End stage show of 2017. The shortlist will then be voted on by Group Tourism & Travel Magazine readers. Look out for more information in the coming months!

Shortlist:
  • 42nd Street
  • Aladdin
  • An American in Paris
  • Kinky Boots
  • Kynren
  • Matilda
  • School of Rock
  • Wicked

Holiday Programme

Sponsored by: Distinctive Systems
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This award is open to entry from any UK-based tour operator that operates a programme of coach holidays. Judges will be looking for a current programme that demonstrates innovation and creativity, in a brochure that is easy to navigate with clear price points and an easy-to-understand summary of what the tour and price includes. With so many brochures now meeting this criteria, the judges will be looking for something that makes the winning programme stand out from the crowd.

Shortlist:
  • Bakers Dolphin
  • Eastons Holidays
  • Gardiners NMC
  • Kirbys Coaches
  • Lucketts Travel
  • Roberts Travel Group
  • Shaws of Maxey
  • Woods Travel Ltd

Day Excursion Programme

Sponsored by: Warner Leisure Hotels
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This award is open to entry from any UK-based tour operator that operates a programme of day excursions by coach. The judges will be looking for a current programme that demonstrates innovation and creativity. With the quality and content of programmes universally high, the judges will be looking for that ‘special something’ that makes it stand out.

Shortlist:
  • Bakers Dolphin
  • Eastons Holidays
  • Gardiners NMC
  • Shaws of Maxey
  • Woods Travel Ltd

Coach Tourism Innovation of the Year

Sponsored by: Eurotunel Le Shuttle
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This award recognises innovation from any part of the coach tourism industry. The judges will be looking for innovation introduced in 2017 and that has a direct link, and benefit, to coach tourism. This could be a product or service, a back-office or front-of-house process, a marketing or PR initiative.

Shortlist:
  • Groups Direct Ltd - The Matinee Shows
  • Harry Shaw City Cruiser Holidays Ltd - Social media
  • Rendezvous Hotel - The Real Yorkshire Experience campaign
  • Skills Group - Holiday brands
  • Spot Travel Services - Business change
  • Travel by Knight - Mini sleeper coach

Coach Tourism Professional of the Year


This is the first of the two ‘people’ awards that require a nomination. Nominations are invited for individuals, couples or teams (working in any role in the coach tourism industry) who have demonstrated exceptional service and commitment to coach tourism over the last year. The judges will need clear evidence of the reasons for the nominations, and are likely to base their decisions on the quality of third-party testimonials (from employers, customers and colleagues).

Shortlist:
  • Suzanne Evans - Boons Calibre Travel
  • Team Devon - Devon4Groups
  • Martin Slater - GreatDays Travel Group
  • Joseph Rawlings - Groups Direct Ltd
  • Adrian Smith, Melanie Cox, Alistair Scott - Gardiners NMC
  • John Jacobs - Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway

Coach Tour Driver of the Year

Sponsored by: Roadchef
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This is the second ‘people’ award that requires nomination. Nominations are invited for coach tour drivers, or team of drivers, primarily employed on coach tour duties during the last year. The judges will be looking for third party testimonials (from passengers, employers, clients) that evidence a commitment to delivering excellent customer service.

Shortlist:
  • Michael Blowers - Bakers Dolphin
  • Team Eastons 2017 - Eastons Holidays
  • Jones Holiday Drivers - Alpine Travel
  • Henry McCarrison - Glenton Holidays
  • Shaun Raven - Alfa Travel
  • Miriam Unsworth - self employed

Coach Tour Operator - Small Fleet (1-5 coaches)

Sponsored by: Condor Ferries
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The judges will be looking for a coach tour operator with between one and five tour coaches that demonstrates a commitment to quality, innovation and training, and has an excellent industry reputation. The judges will also be looking for examples of how an operator has developed/enhanced its product over the last year.

Shortlist:
  • Acklams Coaches Ltd
  • Dunwood Travel
  • Hough's of Lincolnshire
  • IOW Tours

Coach Tour Operator - Medium Fleet (6-15 coaches) P&O

Sponsored by: P & O Ferries
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The judges will not only be looking for a coach tour operator with between six and 15 tour coaches that demonstrates a commitment to quality, innovation and training, and has an excellent industry reputation, but also examples of how it has developed/enhanced its product over the last year.

Shortlist:
  • Bayliss Executive Travel
  • Bluebird Coaches (Weymouth) Ltd
  • Caradoc Coaches
  • Eastons Holidays
  • Roberts Travel Group
  • Woods Travel Group

Coach Tour Operator - Large Fleet (more than 15 coaches)

Sponsored by: Wrightsure
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The judges will not only be looking for a coach tour operator with more than 15 tour coaches that demonstrates a commitment to quality, innovation and training, and has an excellent industry reputation, but also examples of how it has developed/enhanced its product over the last year.

Shortlist:
  • Bakers Dolphin
  • Edwards Coaches Ltd
  • Glenton Holidays
  • Lucketts Travel
  • Shearings Holidays

The British Coach Tourism Recognition Award

Sponsored by: Hilton Worldwide
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This award will be presented in recognition of outstanding services to coach tourism.

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