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National coach tourism awards scheme aims to raise customer service

Submitted by on 23/05/2011 – 16:34

By Stuart Render

The winners of a national coach tourism awards scheme are set to play a key role in helping to raise quality and customer service across the tourism industry in readiness for 2012. The Coach Tourism Awards recognises excellence across coach operators, tourist destinations and attractions, hotel and ferry companies, and other industry suppliers.

This year’s event, held in Stratford-upon-Avon last night (Thursday 19 May), saw more than 80 finalists, representing many of the best known names in coach tourism, competing for the 17 awards. Household names such as Shearings Holidays, Accor Hotels and Eurotunnel battled it out with small, family-owned coach operators and hotels.

The Coach Tourism Awards are organised by trade magazine, Coach Monthly and supported by more than 20 industry organisations including VisitEngland, the Confederation of Passenger Transport, and the Coach Tourism Council.

“These are the only national awards that focus specifically on the coach tourism community,” says Stuart Render, editor of Coach Monthly. “Coach tourism is worth about £2.35bn to Britain’s economy and plays a vital, if sometimes overlooked role as part of the wider tourism industry. The Coach Tourism Awards produces examples of excellence in quality and customer service that is helping to raise quality, not only among coach operators, but also across destinations, tourist attractions, hotels, ferry companies and other industry suppliers. Across the UK, coach operators, destinations and attractions are gearing themselves up, not only for the direct impact of the London 2012 Olympics, but also for the expected boost to UK tourism in general.”

The Coach Monthly ‘Special Award’ was presented to one of the coach tourism industry’s most high profile leaders. Sean Taggart, Chief Executive of the Albatross Group of Companies and Chairman of the Coach Tourism Council, received the award for his outstanding contribution to coach tourism.

Coach Tourism Awards 2011 List Of Winners

Coach Friendly Town or City of the Year Supported by VisitEngland

Winner:     Shaftesbury
Finalists:   Bury, Rochester, Southport, Stamford, York

UK Coach Friendly Attraction of the Year Sponsored by Warner Leisure Hotels

Winner:     Gretna Green’s World Famous Blacksmiths Shop
Finalists:   Ascot Racecourse, Burghley House, Bury Market, Dickens Christmas Market, Loch Lomond Sealife Centre, West Midland Safari Park

European Coach Friendly Attraction of the Year Sponsored by Steve Reed Tourism

Winner:     Keukenhof
Finalists:   Cite Europe, Disneyland Paris, Europa Park, Paris

Cross-sea Carrier of the Year Supported by the Coach Tourism Council

Winner:     P&O Ferries
Finalists:   Brittany Ferries, Eurotunnel, SeaFrance, Stena Line, Wightlink

Accommodation Provider of the Year Sponsored by EvoBus UK

Winner: Accor Hotels
Finalists:   Barceló Hotels, Hilton Worldwide, Marriott Hotels, Menzies Hotels, The Esplanade Newquay, Tynedale Hotel Llandudno, Warner Leisure Hotels

Ticket Supplier of the Year Sponsored by the Best Western Hotel Walkram, Valkenburg, The Netherlands

Winner:     Group Line
Finalists:   Encore Tickets, See Groups, Ticketmaster

Tour Wholesaler of the Year Sponsored by Stena Line

Winner: Albatross Travel Group
Finalists:   CITO, Greatdays Travel Group, ICT, Norman Allen Group Travel

UK Coach Holiday Programme of the Year Sponsored by See Groups

Winner:     Johnsons Coach and Bus Travel
Finalists:   Angela Holidays, Bakers Dolphin Coach Travel, Galloway Coach Travel, Glenton Holidays, Shaws Coaches, Shearings Holidays

European Coach Holiday Programme of the Year Sponsored by Travel and General Insurance

Winner:     Shearings Holidays
Finalists:   Bakers Dolphin Coach Travel, Crusader Holidays, Edwards Coach Holidays, Glenton Holidays, Harrison Holidays, Lucketts Travel

Day Excursion Programme of the Year Sponsored by Towergate Chapman Stevens

Winner:     Shaws Coaches of Maxey
Finalists:   Eastons Coaches, Eddie Brown Tours, Johnsons Coach and Bus Travel,  Gardiners NMC, Woods Travel, Bognor Regis, Worthing Coaches

Brochure of the Year Sponsored by Barceló Hotels

Winner:     Eddie Brown Tours
Finalists:   David Palmer Travel, Eastons Coaches, Harrison Holidays, Johnsons Coach and Bus Travel, Lucketts Travel, Parrys International, The UK Holiday Group

Coach Tour Operator Website of the Year Sponsored by Coach Monthly

Winner:     Lucketts Travel
Finalists:   Door2Tour.com, Eddie Brown Tours, Interchoice Holidays, Shearings Holidays

Coach Tourism Professional of the Year Sponsored by Ascot Racecourse

Winner:     Maria Pond, Lucketts Travel, Fareham
Finalists:   Suzanne Evans, Boons Calibre Travel, Essex Richard Hill, Coaches Excetera, London Lisa Popely, Jay & Kay Coach Tours, Kent Dee Tilbury, Worthing Coaches Dawn Waite, Amadeus Coachways, Staffordshire

Coach Drivers’ Club award for ‘Coach Tour Driver of the Year’ Sponsored by Gretna Green Group

Winner:     Adrian Pointon, Johnsons Coach and Bus Travel
Finalists:   Steve Clarke, Kings Coaches Damian McNeill, Ulsterbus Tours Andrew Nash, Rayleigh Roadways Nicholas Waite, Amadeus Coachways

European Coach Tour Operator of the Year Sponsored by Eurotunnel

Winner:     Galloway Coach Travel
Finalists:   Eddie Brown Tours, Harrison Holidays, Interchoice Holidays, Lucketts Travel, Parrys International, Shearings Holidays

UK Coach TourOperator of the Year – 1 to 10 vehicles Sponsored by Norman Allen Group Travel

Winner:     David Palmer Travel
Finalists:   Coliseum Coaches, Craig-y-Don Travel, Jay & Kay Coach Tours

UK Coach Tour Operator of the Year – over 10 vehicles Sponsored by Hilton Worldwide

Winner:     Parrys International
Finalists:   Eddie Brown Tours, Edwards Coach Holidays, Galloway Coach Travel, Johnsons Coach and Bus Travel, Lucketts Travel, Maynes Coaches,  Shearings Holidays, Ulsterbus Tours

Coach Monthly ‘Special Award’ Sponsored by CITO

Sean Taggart, Chief Executive, Albatross Group of Companies, and Chairman, Coach Tourism Council


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