UKinbound, a trade association that represents the interests of the UK’s inbound tourism industry has recognised and rewarded top-performing UK tourism businesses, organisations and individuals at its Awards for Excellence ceremony last night (Thursday 21 September)
The awards were presented in front of over 350 tourism and hospitality professionals at the annual Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, which took place at Belfast City Hall.
Following self-nomination, the winners were decided by a panel of independent judges from across the tourism industry – Kurt Janson, former director of The Tourism Alliance; Jason Edwards, Jason Edwards Travel; and Dr Karen Thomas, director, Tourism and Events Research Hub, Canterbury Christ Church University.
The winners were:
- Tour Operator of the Year – Angela Shanley Associates Ltd
- Online Travel Agency of the Year – Get Your Guide
- Accommodation Provider of the Year – Lake District Country Hotels
- Attraction of the Year – Blenheim Palace
- Destination Management Organisation of the Year – Visit Kent
- Sightseeing Operator of the Year – Mountain Goat Tours
- Transport Provider of the Year – Uber Boat by Thames Clippers
- Service Provider of the Year: Professional Services – TravelBeat
- Service Provider of the Year: Restaurants, Retail and Ticketing – Bustronome
- Service Provider of the Year: Technology – Vox Group
- Sustainable Tourism Provider of the Year – Game of Thrones Studio Tour
- Young Excellence Award – Zoe Fleming, Liverpool Football Club
- Members Choice Award – James Aitken, Cashel Travel
- Chairman’s Choice Award – Rob Russell, AC Group
Joss Croft OBE, CEO UKinbound said: “Last year, our inbound tourism industry saw over 31 million visits from international tourists to the UK who spent over £26 billion and although these statistics are not quite up to the visit and spend levels seen in 2019 – this is still a fantastic achievement against the backdrop of a tough global economic climate and ongoing recovery from the pandemic.
“As always, our Awards for Excellence are a great opportunity to reward and celebrate the industry and our members have once again all worked incredibly hard over the last 12 months and made a significant contribution to the continuing success of the sector.”
The Awards for Excellence were presented during the association’s Annual Convention which took place at the Assembly Buildings in Belfast on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 September. The event featured an influential line-up of speakers including psychologist and motivational speaker Jamil Qureshi; Ellvena Graham, Chair of Tourism Northern Ireland and Patricia Yates, CEO, of VisitBritain.