Nominations and entries are open for this unique annual award that continues to recognise group travel organisers for the positive impact they have on the lives of friends, family, colleagues or the local community.
First presented in 1999, the GTO of the Year Award® comes with a first prize of £2,000 to spend on a familiarisation holiday and is a great way of highlighting how GTOs bring people together to enjoy amazing experiences. But we can’t do it without you.
How to enter or make a nomination for the 2023 award
GTOs can now enter themselves for the 2023 award or anyone can nominate someone they feel deserves to be recognised and rewarded through this special accolade.
Just click on the appropriate button below and complete the short form…
Who is eligible for the award?
People who organise group trips and holidays can enter themselves into the competition, whether it’s your hobby or full-time job. We also accept nominations from group members and encourage travel trade suppliers to put forward the great group travel organisers they work with.
We always love hearing about the GTOs who have made a real difference to others.
The Group Travel Organiser of the Year Award® 2023 is partnered by Ambassador Cruise Line.
Ambassador sails for the British market from London Tilbury with a focus on premium-value. Ambassador Cruise Line’s first ship, Ambience, set sail from Tilbury in April 2022 on an ex-UK no-fly range of voyages. Ambassador’s second ship, Ambition, entered service in May 2023, carrying 1,200 guests in 714 cabins, with ten guest decks. She will operate itineraries from London Tilbury as well as cruises from six UK regional departure ports, including Newcastle, Dundee, Liverpool, Belfast, Bristol and Falmouth.
About the award
The GTO of the Year Award® is part of the annual Group Leisure & Travel Awards initiative.
Launched in 1998 and first awarded in 1999, this annual award now comes with a £2,000 first prize for the winner to spend on a holiday to remember. Previous winners have chosen to visit destinations including Austria, Italy and Turkey.
Over the years, all sorts of organisers have been recognised from a range of different groups and backgrounds. What they have all had in common is their ability and willingness to create fun and enjoyable opportunities for other people – many of whom would not have been able to enjoy such experiences otherwise.
Every year, GTOs are able to enter the award or be nominated by someone. The Group Leisure & Travel team then find out more about them through a questionnaire and, if required, a phone call. A shortlist of four finalists is then decided who are then put in front of a panel of experts, which are normally made up of experienced travel trade professionals and group travel organisers, alongside the senior staff at GLT.
Who won last time?
Congratulations to Dave Hartle of Dave’s Trips who was announced as the 2022 GTO of the Year®.
His group, aptly named Dave’s Trips, began when he was working for the NHS some 18 years ago and somebody asked if he could arrange day trips for nursing staff.
It snowballed from there and the group has grown to about 500 members, which are mostly ex-NHS staff members and their families.
How did he react to winning the award? Dave told us: “I was quite shocked. I asked one of my daughters to come with me to the ceremony – all of them really wanted to be there – and she was so excited when I won. We heard all the nominees, then everyone we sat with on the table had their fingers crossed for me. When they called my name out, I was absolutely gobsmacked! My daughter was jumping around with joy, it was all quite overwhelming.”
You can read our full interview with Dave by clicking here.
And a big round of applause must also go to our other 2022 finalists…
- Robert Coleman, The London Cultureseekers Group
- Irene Moore, Epsom & Ewell U3A
- Jacky Oakley, Camberley & District U3A
You can find out about each of them, including why they love being a GTO and about the experiences they arrange for their group, in our special feature about them.
Should you have questions about the award, or need help contact the team at Group Leisure & Travel on 01908 613323 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Group Leisure & Travel Awards click here.