Previous winners of the Group Travel Organiser of the Year Award® on the impact it had on them. 

GTO of the Year

Previous GTO of the Year® winners (left to right) Sylvia Saxon, Sue Shapland and Olivia Goodfellow.

Sue Shapland, who has been organising trips for her group, the Exmoor Extroverts, for more than 20 years won in 2019 receiving £2,000 to spend on a holiday.

Speaking recently, Sue said: “It has been four months since I found out I had won the award and the reaction has been fantastic from my group and those in the travel trade. I’m looking forward to my tour of some of America’s national parks in April. I booked it with Travelsphere using my prize money from the award, I can’t wait!” 

You can read more about Sue’s role here.

Recognising special people for more than two decades, the GTO of the Year Award® was set up to highlight great group leaders, finding out where they go, what they do and about the people they organise for.

Olivia Goodfellow, who organises trips for the Enfield Over 50s Forum, was the 2018 winner and used her prize money on a holiday to Turkey last year. She said: “The title means a lot to me as it shows that the industry values the input that people like me make to their businesses and it also gives me the motivation to continue the volunteering in the knowledge that apart from the obvious benefits to my groups (and me), there is a wider recognition that the work put in is worth it and valuable to our clients and to our providers.”

Sylvia Saxon, of Saxon Group Travel, was awarded GTO of the Year® in 2005. She said: “We have most of the previous winners in our New Meridian Association and when together we often talk about how it has changed our lives. I went on a safari to Africa with my prize and that also is a holiday I will never forget. Thank you, Group Leisure & Travel, for changing my world.”

For more information about the Group Leisure & Travel Awards head to