The winners of the 2016 Group Leisure Awards

Trophies are being placed in cabinets and on mantel pieces after a night of celebrations and recognition at the annual Group Leisure Awards.

The awards are voted for by readers of Group Leisure magazine and and include categories such as Best UK Attraction, Best Theatre Production, and Best Group Tour Operator.

350 people, including travel trade professionals and group travel organisers, attended the ceremony and dinner at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Wednesday 19th October.

Special guests Anton du Beke and Erin Boag, best known for their star turns onStrictly Come Dancing, hit the dance floor to provide some sparkling entertainment, before co-hosting the ceremony.

The dancing duo joined Group Leisure publisher, Rob Yandell on stage to present a total of 21 awards, recognising the best destinations, attractions, and providers, as voted for by active travel organisers from sports and social clubs, retired associations, special interest societies and other groups.

Amongst the winners was Ireland, which took the award for Best International Destination, pipping Germany, France, Italy and even India to scoop the title.

A brand new award for Best Christmas Experience, meanwhile, was handed over to Warner Leisure Hotels for its Turkey & Tinsel breaks

London and its attractions swept a good portion of the board on the night, too. The capital city took home the accolade for Best UK Destination, while Planet Hollywood won Best Group Dining Experience, The London Bridge Experience & Tombs collected the Best Guided Tour award, and The View from the Shard won the Best UK Attraction title.

The after party for the awards took place to the sound of the Talent – often said to be the UK’s best party band.

“It was a fantastic night,” explained Rob Yandell. “Anton and Erin were flawless and added the touch of glamour that our awards ceremonies are renowned for. The results themselves were received with a great deal of excitement and it was only right that celebrations continued on into the early hours.”

The 2016 categories and winners are as follows…

  • Best UK Attraction for Children: Drayton Manor
  • Best Coach or Tour Operator - UK Tours: InterChoice Holidays
  • Best Ferry or Fixed Link Operator: Irish Ferries
  • Best Airline:
  • Best Event for Groups 2015/2016: Newmarket Nights at Newmarket Racecourse
  • Best Christmas Experience: Warner Leisure Hotels
  • Best Guided Tour: The London Bridge Experience & Tombs
  • Best Accommodation for Groups: HF Holidays
  • Best Holiday Park: Park Resorts
  • Best Shopping Experience: intu Trafford Centre
  • Best Group Dining Experience: Planet Hollywood
  • Best Theatre Production: Jersey Boys
  • Best Cruise Line: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
  • Best Ticketing Agency: Group Line
  • Best UK Destination: London
  • Best International Destination: Ireland
  • The Excellence Award 2016: Oliver Williams, IOW Tours
  • Best Group Tour Operator - Short Haul: Diamond Group Travel
  • Best Group Tour Operator - Long Haul: Travelsphere
  • Best UK Attraction: The View from the Shard
  • Group Travel Organiser of the Year 2016: Christine Taylor, Wye Valley Theatre & Travel Club

For more information about the Group Leisure Awards visit