We asked our valued 2023 Group Leisure & Travel Awards Partners what’s the most rewarding aspect of working with groups – here’s what they told us.

Martyn Stagg looks after Warner Hotels' partnership sales

“Travelling with several different people can sometimes be daunting, so it is endlessly rewarding to be able to give our GTO’s the support and peace of mind when booking with Warner to truly focus on enjoying themselves.

“Helping them, and their group, to try new experiences and make priceless memories without hassle.

“We particularly enjoy seeing people within groups socialise and make new friends as they delight in the warm and welcoming atmosphere at Warner Hotels.”

Martyn Stagg, Warner Hotels

Alan Rennie, Ambassador Cruise Line's business development manager (groups)

“We know it can sometimes be a challenge for group organisers to tailor their offering according to the collective and individual needs of their customers, but Ambassador’s expert Groups team have taken great pride in being able to accommodate their needs since we launched our first sailing in April 2022.

“What is really fulfilling for Ambassador is when we are able to tick all the boxes to ensure that organisers and the groups they represent, whose needs can vary depending on what type of experience they are looking for and the interests and motivations they have, enjoy a fantastic time when coming on board with us.

“We can tailor the onboard experience to cater for special interests, including arts and crafts workshops, dance groups, supplying venues for on board lectures and more. We’re flexible and adaptable, and the positive feedback we’ve received from group organisers since we first launched makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

Alan Rennie, Ambassador Cruise Line

Josh Behn, Disney Theatrical Group

“Specifically for our business it’s hearing the amazing feedback of how much the group enjoyed their experience at the theatre.

“Relationships mean so much in this industry and it’s a great opportunity to connect at an event like the Group Leisure & Travel Awards to celebrate achievements and partnerships with clients.”

Josh Behn, Disney on Stage Group Bookings

Martin Jenkins, Daish's Holidays

“Working with group travel organisers is exceptionally rewarding as you know assisting them with all their hard work and commitment culminates in many more people enjoying travel and seeing the UK in all its splendour.

“Without our valued organisers and committed employees many people would just not get to travel as they currently do. Companies like Daish’s Holidays play a small part in making this happen, year in year out.”

Martin Jenkins, Daish’s Holidays

GLT Awards 2022: Best UK Attraction - National Memorial Arboretum

Every year, Awards Partners have the important job of announcing the winners during the GLT Awards ceremony, and presenting those much sought after trophies. This is the National Memorial Arboretum winning Best UK Attraction in 2022.

Gabrielle Alarm, CroisiEurope

“We enjoy matching groups’ needs with suitable cruising products and itineraries. We are very proud to welcome more than 60% repeat guests and we’re often asked ‘where should I go next?’

“Fortunately, our product development team work tirelessly on new and unique river cruise itineraries. CroisiEurope is the first and only river cruise line to operate cruises on the beautiful Vltava, Guadalquivir and Loire river, something we’re very proud of.”

Gabrielle Alam, CroisiEurope

Ben Delahunty-Jones, Group Line

We love the mix of groups that we get – coach operators, independent organisers etc. Knowing that we have the ability to work directly with shows to ensure groups get the best deals to keep theatre accessible to all is a great feeling.”

Ben Delahunty-Jones, Group Line

Rob Paddon is head of sales at Ascot

“The most rewarding aspect of working with group leisure and travel operators for Ascot is the opportunity to provide memorable and enriching experiences for a diverse range of attendees. While Royal Ascot has a renowned reputation for its traditions and formalities, it has made concerted efforts to welcome a diverse array of visitors.

“The make-up of the audience can vary significantly depending on the enclosure and the specific day of the event, reflecting Ascot’s commitment to inclusivity. As with any large-scale event, the diversity of the audience can be influenced by factors like ticket prices, location within the racecourse, and individual preferences. Collaborating with group travel organisers and coach operators not only allows Ascot to cater to larger groups of tourists but also contributes to the cultivation of a vibrant and varied community of attendees who share these experiences. Overall, the satisfaction of creating lasting memories and expanding Ascot’s reach while embracing diversity makes it a fulfilling endeavour.”

Rob Paddon, Ascot Racecourse

GLT Awards 2022 drinks reception

The Awards Ceremony always welcomes a special host, and in 2022 guests were excited to meet football legend Kevin Keegan, who was happy to pose for photos and talk to those in attendance.

Sylvia Saxon (left), The New Meridian Association

“The most rewarding aspect of working with groups is putting together the trips and giving our members a new experience, visiting a new destination or going on that cruise that they have always dreamed of. As a group travel organiser myself, I get a huge amount of satisfaction from creating fantastic trips and holidays for my members who have travelled all over the world with me. Travelling as a group is so special and members of the New Meridian are all so passionate about what they do which is a wonderful feeling.”

Sylvia Saxon, The New Meridian Association

Colin Duncan, Dunwood

“Working in close partnership with group organisers over the years and achieving great loyalty, friendship and memories to always cherish is the most rewarding aspect for us.”

Colin Duncan, Dunwood

Paul Brandwood, The Royal Mint

“The most rewarding aspect of working with groups is building a close relationship with partners. By having that relationship, you are able to understand their customer types and build bespoke packages to fit the needs of each company. Seeing a coach of 52 people pull up and ensuring everyone has a visit to remember is something our team thrives on. Every day our wonderful team of guides check to see how many group visitors we have in that day as they really look forward to getting to know each and every one of them.

“When we then get a repeat booking from the same group supplier, it’s a wonderful feeling knowing we are doing something right.”

Paul Brandwood, The Royal Mint

“For us at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort the most rewarding aspect of working with groups is the excitement of seeing them arrive and then enjoying our many attractions and creating memories with friends and family that will last a lifetime.”

Rupert Viney, LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort

Amy Sowden is group sales and revenue manager for the Brend Collection

“Every time our groups return, we have the opportunity to give them the same level of excellent service that all our guests receive but in our varying hotels and different locations throughout the South West.”

Amy Sowden, Brend Collection

GLT Awards 2022

The Group Leisure & Travel Awards is a great opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and network - guests at the 2022 ceremony did exactly that! 

Graham Hopcraft, DFDS

“Building long term relationships, trust and understanding the finer details of the groups are the most important elements of what we do.”

Graham Hopcraft, DFDS

GLT Awards 2022 Best Group Tour Operator Travel Editions

“Group travel through LeShuttle brings a variety of passengers. LeShuttle remains an important cog in their journey to and from the EU, bringing lasting memories for many travellers . From young students on their first ever school trip under the English Channel to seasoned travellers visiting Christmas Markets on the Continent, there is something for everyone.”

Tracy Bayliss, LeShuttle

Sallyanne Gooch is the group and commercial sales director for Potters Resorts

“The most rewarding aspect of working with groups must be the diverse range of personalities that you meet. You really do build great relationships with group organisers over the years and often their guests too.   

“It’s always rewarding when a new group re-books after their first visit, it’s a heart-warming feeling knowing that you’ve played a little role in ensuring that everyone enjoys a fantastic holiday.”

Sallyanne Gooch, Potters Resorts

Kia Lewis is groups team leader at HF Holidays

“Our ethos at HF Holidays is to connect like-minded people with a love of the great outdoors. Having groups come and experience the hospitality and warm welcome at our country houses and hearing how much they value spending time together in our stunning coast and countryside locations across the UK is really rewarding.

“Our exclusive hire option also gives groups the freedom to have one of our country houses all to themselves. With our help they can craft their own itinerary and I love working with them to create their ideal holiday.”

Kia Lewis, HF Holidays

Ellie Fulcher is sales manager (groups & affinity) for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

“For me personally, I feel so privileged to work for a family owned business with 175 years of sea faring heritage. We believe ‘It’s all about the People’ and we can personally make a difference to providing our group travel organisers a bespoke package, perfectly suited to their groups.

“We appreciate that every group is different and will work with you to bring this to life, whether you are new to cruise and looking for a short European taster cruise of five nights right through to exclusive full ship charters.

“The most rewarding aspect of working with groups is the relationships and friendships that I have built up with our trusted GTOs over the years and I believe that providing a high level of personal service, contributes to FOCL having the highest repeat guest rate in the UK cruise industry.”

Ellie Fulcher, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines 


Thank you to our official 2023 Awards Partners…



For suppliers, attractions and companies interested in becoming an official Awards Partner for the 2024 initiative, phone Sharon Yandell on 01908 613323 or email sharon.y@yandellmedia.com.

You can also go to the Awards Partners page for information on what types of packages we offer that will brand you across print and online, including advertising, a table at the ceremony, and the opportunity to present an award category.