The Group Leisure & Travel Awards ceremony returned for its first live in-person event for three years as the best attractions, destinations and providers for group trips and holidays were recognised and celebrated.
As voted for by readers of Group Leisure & Travel, the annual Awards initiative culminated in a celebratory evening at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes on 5th October.
The 2022 ceremony was hosted by footballing legend Kevin Keegan, alongside Group Leisure & Travel publisher Rob Yandell, with supporting Awards Partners invited to the stage to announce this year’s winners.
Kevin said: “It has been fantastic to see so many people enjoying themselves this evening, what a fantastic night! I’m chuffed for all the winners, you can tell what it means to them by their reaction. It’s that appreciation for what they do, especially over the last few years. There has been such a nice atmosphere.”
The GLT Awards, now in its 26th year, is organised by Group Leisure & Travel, Britain’s best read magazine for people who organise group trips and holidays. After two online virtual ceremonies in 2020 and 2021, it was a welcome sight to see 250 guests come together and celebrate the industry.
A total of 20 awards were presented, which included Best UK Attraction for Children and Families, Best Group Tour Operator, and Best Museum or Gallery.
First-time winners and big favourites crowned
There were a number of first-time winners including CroisiEurope which was crowned Best Cruise Line, and the King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester which was voted Best Museum or Gallery.
York was again named Best UK Destination while Ireland received the most votes to scoop Best International Destination for the second time. Speaking after the ceremony, Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “As our industry recovers from the pandemic, this award is really good news. Travellers nowadays have tremendous choice, which makes it more important than ever for us to ensure the island of Ireland stands out from other destinations.”
Potters Resorts was voted the Best Accommodation for Groups, while Mamma Mia! won the Best Theatre Production category.
Clearly popular with group travel organisers, Mamma Mia! The Party picked up Best Group Dining Experience, while it was celebrations all round for Hever Castle which walked away with the award for Best Christmas Experience.
Thank you to our official 2022 Awards Partners…
For companies and attractions interested in supporting the 2023 awards… get in touch to find out how your support can provide amazing brand exposure and value across print, online and the ceremony itself. Telephone Sharon Yandell on 01908 613323 or send an email to email@example.com who will be happy to help.
GTOs and travel trade making a difference
Dave Hartle of Dave’s Trips won the Group Travel Organiser of the Year Award® and a £2,000 prize to spend on a holiday.
He has organised countless trips for his group over the years, both in the UK and abroad to the likes of Derbyshire, Yorkshire, the USA, Dubai, New Zealand and Hong Kong (you can read more about Dave and the other GTO finalists here).
There was also time to acknowledge the achievements of Christine Bennett (Deaf Group Holidays) and Elizabeth Hodgson (Barnet U3A), who both won the GTO of the Year Award® in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Due the pandemic, both recipients were unable to accept their prize in person, so this year’s event offered the perfect opportunity to invite the pair along and praise all their hard work.
The Excellence Award, which recognises an individual in the travel trade for their service to GTOs was presented to Zoe Poston of Dunwood Travel.
Described by group travel organisers as ‘knowledgeable, professional, helpful and friendly’, Zoe picked up the highest number of votes of the four 2022 finalists with one GTO saying: “She truly deserves this award for her outstanding dedication to the job.”
Group Leisure & Travel publisher, Rob Yandell thanked the Awards Partners for supporting the initiative.
He said: “It has been a very difficult period for the travel trade and everyone connected to the tourism industry. We have worked hard to bring back the GLT Awards ceremony as an in-person event and it is thanks to the support of our Awards Partners that we have been able to so.
“Virtual was fun but it was an amazing feeling to see everyone together again, enjoying what is always a wonderful occasion, and celebrating everything that’s best for groups.”
Look out for ongoing reaction and share yours
Expect more photos, video, reaction, stories and more following on from this year’s awards.