Little did Harold Burke know that’s he’d be picking up one of the most coveted Group Leisure & Travel Awards when he attended the awards ceremony on Wednesday 11th October.
The sales director of the Norwich-based The UK Holiday Group Ltd (which includes just for groups! Grand UK, Sunrise Direct and Glenton Holidays) was awarded with the Outstanding Contribution to Group Travel Award – an accolade that has only been given to one other individual in the 20 years that the Awards have been running.
With over 45 years of experience in the group travel industry Harold Burke is an expert in the field. After joining the Co-op Travel department in his home town of Manchester in 1971, he has worked in the group travel sector ever since with spells at Pontins and Rank’s Butlins, Haven and Warner divisions before joining The UK Holiday Group as Sales Director in 1999.
He also heads up Norwich-based just for groups! which is part of the company’s portfolio including just for groups!, Grand UK, Sunrise Direct and Glenton Holidays.
On winning the award, Harold said: “It was completely unexpected. It means everything. To be recognised by the industry that means so much to me is overwhelming. I have been in the industry for over 40 years and I have seen it go from having no identity to what it is today. I’m delighted with the award and so surprised. So many people deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.”
Harold’s win was revealed at a glittering dinner and red carpet ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel on Wednesday 11th October.
Co-presented by magician Ben Hanlin, best known for his ITV2 show Tricked, alongside Group Leisure & Travel Magazine publisher Rob Yandell, the awards recognised the best destinations, attractions, and providers in the group travel industry, as voted for by active travel organisers from sports and social clubs, retired associations, special interest societies and other groups.
Rob Yandell said: “We have only given this very special award out once before but to celebrate the 20th year of the ceremony it was fitting to recognise Harold’s outstanding achievements. From humble beginnings Harold has achieved so much over many years and he is a true credit to the group travel industry. We are delighted to have been able to honour his contribution and his shock at receiving the award reinforces what a wonderfully modest man he is.”
A full list of the 22 winners can be found at groupleisureandtravel.com/news.
Pictured left to right: Rob Yandell, publisher of Group Leisure & Travel magazine, Harold Burke of The UK Holiday Group Ltd, and magician Ben Hanlin.