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Published on Thursday, November 27, 2014

And the winners are....



Heathrow Express, Tropical Sky and Skanda Holidays all became first time winners at this year's British Travel Awards.





Big Winners Tropical Sky


The airport rail operator won Best Holiday Transfer Company, Tropical Sky won the award for Best Weddings and Honeymoons in the medium-sized category and Skanda Holidays won the Best Holiday Company to Southern Asia in the small companies category.

Organisers of the awards said Skanda Holidays is a great example of a small company taking on well-known brands to win the accolade. The Birmingham-based company ran an enthusiastic lobbying campaign to get its customers to vote.

Other success stories among the smaller independent companies include Ionian and Agean Holidays, which was awarded the Best Holiday Company to Hellenic Europe in the medium company category.

But the travel giants also did well. Thomson scooped several awards, including Best Family Holiday Company and Best National Travel Retailer.

Meanwhile, Kuoni took Best Luxury Holiday Company, First Choice was voted Best All Inclusive Holiday Company and Virgin Holidays won Best Weddings and Honeymoons and Best Holiday Company to the Caribbean and Bermuda.

Titan Travel was a clear winner this year, with nine trophies across various categories.

But it was All Leisure's Travelsphere who took home the most awards overall, winning six Best Holiday Company Awards and nine second place awards, all in the medium sized company categories.

The much coveted Feefo and BTA Award for Excellence in Customer Service was awarded to the large company Laterooms, with Wendy Wu Tours taking the medium/small category.

The winners were announced by comedian Russell Kane at a glamorous Venetian-themed Gala dinner in London last night.

"It was another record breaking year for British Travel Awards' consumer voting, with more than one and a quarter million votes cast to determine the winners of the 143 Awards - no other awards programme in the UK comes near this staggering amount," said BTA chief executive Lorraine Barnes Burton.


"All BTA winners are to be congratulated for getting the most votes in their categories, no mean feat as the voting public has become increasingly discerning and expects the best customer service. The winning companies can now proudly display the BTA winners' logo, a benchmark recognised by the travelling public as the sign of excellence."


In total nearly 150 companies were honoured at the British Travel Awards 2014.


Here's a full list of the winners:

Best Family Cruise Line
1 P&O Cruises
2 Thomson Cruises
3 Princess Cruises

Best Airport Parking Company
1 APH (Airport Parking & Hotels)
2 Holiday Extras
3 Purple Parking

Best River Cruise Line
1 Viking River Cruises
2 Riviera Travel
3 Red Sea Holidays

Best Foreign Exchange/Travel Money Retailer
1 Post Office Ltd
2 Travelex
3 Thomson

Best Luxury Holiday Company
Large
1 Kuoni
2 Virgin Holidays + HIP Hotels
3 Saga Holidays
Medium
1 Emirates Holidays
2 Sovereign Luxury Travel
3 Classic Collection Holidays
Small
1 Cox & Kings
2 Luxury Destinations
3 Imagine Africa

Best Ski & Winter Sports Holiday Company
Large
1 Crystal Ski Holidays
2 Neilson Active Holidays
3 Inghams
Medium
1 Club Med
2 Mark Warner Holidays
3 Esprit Ski
Small
1 Ski Olympic
2 VIP Ski
3 Snowbizz

Best Camping & Mobile Holiday Company
Large
1 Eurocamp
2 Haven
3 Parkdean
Medium
1 Canvas Holidays
2 Siblu Holidays
3 Alan Rogers' Travel
Small
1 Brittany Ferries Holidays
2 Matthews Holidays
3 South Lakeland Holidays

Best Flight Booking Company
1 Expedia.co.uk
2 alpharooms.com
3 Globehunters

Holiday Transfer Company
1 Heathrow Express
2 HolidayTaxis.com
3 Titan

Best Rail Holiday Company
Large
1 Riviera Travel
2 Newmarket Holidays
3 Saga Holidays
Medium
1 Great Rail Journeys
2 Travelsphere
3 Railbookers
Small
1 Holidays By Rail
2 Ffestiniog Travel
3 Planet Rail


Best All Inclusive Holiday Company
Large
1 First Choice
2 Saga Holidays
3 Thomson
Medium
1 Mark Warner Holidays
2 Club Med
3 Red Sea Holidays
Small
1 Luxury Destinations
2 Simply Maldives
3 Andante Travels

Best Weddings & Honeymoons
Large
1 Virgin Holidays
2 Kuoni
3 Thomson
Medium
1 Tropical Sky
2 Destinology
3 Mercury Direct
Small
1 Perfect Weddings Abroad
2 Black Tomato
3 Imagine Africa

Best Holiday Company to the Caribbean & Bermuda
Large
1 Virgin Holidays
2 Thomas Cook
3 Thomson
Medium
1 The Holiday Place
2 Destinology
3 Tropical Sky
Small
1 Friendship Travel Singles Holidays
2 Caribtours
3 Carrier

BTA/Feefo Award for Excellence in Customer Service
Small/Medium: Wendy Wu Tours
Large: Laterooms


Best UK Upscale Hotel Brand
1 Pullman
2 The Hotel Collection (formerly Puma Hotels)
3 The Doyle Collection London Hotels

Best UK Leisure Attraction
1 Eden Project
2 LEGOLAND Windsor Resort
3 The Scotch Whisky Experience

Best Holiday Company to Hellenic Europe
Large
1 Thomson
2 Olympic Holidays
3 First Choice
Medium
1 Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays
2 Travelsphere
3 Sovereign Luxury Travel
Small
1 Sailing Holidays Ltd
2 Simpson Travel
3 Greek Sun Holidays

Best Ferry Operator
1 P&O Ferries
2 Brittany Ferries
3 DFDS Seaways

Best Travel Deals Provider
1 Travelzoo
2 Trivago
3 TravelSupermarket

Best Special Interest Holiday Company
Large
1 Saga Holidays
2 Newmarket Holidays
3 Riviera Travel
Medium
1 Discover the World
2 Titan
3 Exodus Travels
Small
1 The Discovery Collection
2 Friendship Travel Singles Holidays
3 Anatolian Sky Holidays

Best Family Holiday Company
Large
1 Thomson
2 Thomas Cook
3 Virgin Holidays
Medium
1 Mark Warner Holidays
2 Canvas Holidays
3 Club Med
Small
1 Activities Abroad
2 Small Families Single Parent Holidays
3 Sailing Holidays Ltd

Best Coach Holidays Company
Large
1 Shearings Holidays
2 Newmarket Holidays
3 National Holidays

Best Holiday Company to Central & S.America
Large
1 Saga Holidays
2 Thomson
3 Virgin Holidays
Medium
1 Travelsphere
2 Titan
3 Explore
Small
1 Imagine Latin America
2 Cox & Kings
3 Bales Worldwide

Best Holiday Company to North Africa
Large
1 Thomson
2 Thomas Cook
3 First Choice
Medium
1 Red Sea Holidays
2 On The Go Tours
3 Explore
Small
1 Bales Worldwide
2 Discover Egypt
3 Audley Travel

Best UK Holiday Cottage/Self Catering Booking Company
Large
1 Sykes Cottages
2 cottages4you
3 holidaylettings
Medium
1 holidaycottages.co.uk
2 Helpful Holidays
3 West Wales Holiday Cottages
Small
1 Coast & Country Cottages
2 Toad Hall Cottages
3 Reserve Apartments

Best Holiday Company to Southern Asia
Large
1 Hayes and Jarvis
2 Saga Holidays
3 Kuoni
Medium
1 Travelsphere
2 Titan
3 Explore
Small
1 Skanda Holidays
2 Cox & Kings
3 Indus Experiences

Best Luxury Cruise Line
1 Princess Cruises
2 Seabourn
3 Hebridean Island Cruises

Best Car Hire Company
1 Avis
2 Enterprise Rent-A-Car
3 Budget

Best UK Holiday County/Destination
1 Cornwall
2 Northumberland
3 Devon

Best UK Holiday Parks Operator
1 Haven
2 Butlins
3 Parkdean

Best Independent Travel Agency
1 Travelwise
2 The Holiday Place
3 Destinology

Best National Travel Retailer
1 Thomson
2 Thomas Cook
3 Virgin Holidays

Best Singles Holiday Company
Large
1 Saga Holidays
2 Shearings Holidays
3 Newmarket Holidays
Medium
1 Solos Holidays
2 Just You
3 Mark Warner Holidays
Small
1 One Traveller
2 Friendship Travel Singles Holidays
3 TrekAmerica

Best Activity/Sports Holiday Company
Large
1 Neilson Active Holidays
2 Crystal Ski Holidays
3 Inghams
Medium
1 Mark Warner Holidays
2 Exodus Travels
3 Explore
Small
1 Activities Abroad
2 Sailing Holidays Ltd
3 Private Expeditions Limited

Best Escorted Adventure Holiday Company
Large
1 Saga Holidays
2 Newmarket Holidays
3 Shearings Holidays
Medium
1 Titan
2 Explore
3 Exodus Travels
Small
1 Grand American Adventures
2 Undiscovered Destinations
3 Tucan Travel

Best Holiday Company to Central & N. Europe
Medium
1 Travelsphere
2 Titan
3 Discover the World
Small
1 Regent Holidays
2 Insight Vacations
3 Transun

Best Holiday Company to the Italian Peninsula
Large
1 Thomson
2 First Choice
3 Newmarket Holidays
Medium
1 Citalia
2 Mercury Direct
3 Titan
Small
1 Essential Italy
2 Martin Randall Travel
3 Andante Travels

Best Holiday Company to Australasia
Medium
1 Austravel
2 Travelsphere
3 Titan
Small
1 Scenic Tours
2 APT Guided Tours & River Cruises
3 Audley Travel

Best Holiday Company to East & Central Asia
Medium
1 Travelsphere
2 Titan
3 On The Go Tours
Small
1 Wendy Wu Tours
2 Bales Worldwide
3 Regent Holidays

Best Cruise Holiday Retailer
1 Thomson Cruises
2 Virgin Holidays Cruises
3 The Cruise Line

Best Worldwide Upscale Hotel Brand
1 Hilton Hotels & Resorts
2 Pullman
3 MGallery

Best All-Inclusive Hotel/Resort Brand
1 Sandals Resorts
2 RIU Hotels & Resorts
3 Elegant Hotels Group

Best Consumer Holiday Magazine
1 National Geographic Traveller (UK)
2 Discover Britain
3 BRITAIN - The Official Magazine

Best UK Mid-scale Hotel Brand
1 Best Western Hotels GB
2 Mercure Hotels
3 Novotel

Best UK Heritage Attraction
1 Edinburgh Castle
2 National Maritime Museum Cornwall
3 Giant's Causeway

Best UK Tourism Authority
Winner: South West Tourism Alliance

Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company
Large
1 Newmarket Holidays
2 Saga Holidays
3 Shearings Holidays
Medium
1 Titan
2 Travelsphere
3 Leger Holidays
Small
1 Direct Traveller
2 Cox & Kings
3 Martin Randall Travel

Best Coach Holidays Company
Large
1 Shearings Holidays
2 Newmarket Holidays
3 National Holidays

Medium
1 Titan
2 Leger Holidays
3 Gold Crest Holidays

Best Safari, Wildlife & Nature Holiday Company
Large
1 Hayes and Jarvis
2 Saga Holidays
3 Kuoni
Medium
1 Titan
2 Explore
3 Exodus Travels
Small
1 Imagine Africa
2 Natural World Safaris
3 Africa Odyssey

Best Holiday Company to .E & S.E. Europe
Large
1 Thomson
2 Thomas Cook
3 Saga Holidays
Medium
1 Travelsphere
2 Titan
3 Balkan Holidays
Small
1 Direct Traveller
2 Cyprus Paradise
3 Cox & Kings

Best Holiday Company to Sub Saharan Africa
Large
1 Hayes and Jarvis
2 Saga Holidays
3 Kuoni
Medium
1 Titan
2 Explore
3 Destinology
Small
1 Imagine Africa
2 Natural World Safaris
3 Africa Odyssey

Best Holiday Company to the Indian Ocean
Large
1 Kuoni
2 Virgin Holidays
3 Hayes and Jarvis
Medium
1 Emirates Holidays
2 Mercury Direct
3 Destinology
Small
1 Simply Maldives
2 Luxury Destinations
3 Experience Travel Group

Best UK Departure Cruise Line
1 P&O Cruises
2 Saga Holidays
3 Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Best Worldwide Mid-scale Hotel Brand
1 Mercure Hotels
2 Novotel
3 Jurys Inn Hotel Group

Best English Channel Operator
1 P&O Ferries
2 Eurostar International
3 DFDS Seaways

Best Travel Review Website
1 TripAdvisor
2 CruiseCritic.co.uk
3 Silver Travel Advisor

Best Travel Insurance Provider
1 Post Office Ltd
2 InsureandGo
3 John Lewis

Best UK Luxury Hotel Brand
1 Small Luxury Hotels of the World
2 Sofitel
3 Pride of Britain Hotels

Best UK Economy Hotel
1 Premier Inn
2 Holiday Inn Express
3 Travelodge

Best Holiday Company for Customer Service
Large
1 Thomson
2 Saga Holidays
3 First Choice
Medium
1 Titan
2 Emirates Holidays
3 Tropical Sky
Small
1 Martin Randall Travel
2 Andante Travels
3 TrekAmerica

Best Holiday Company to Western Europe
Large
1 Saga Holidays
2 Eurocamp
3 Thomson
Medium
1 Travelsphere
2 Titan
3 Canvas Holidays
Small
1 Brittany Ferries Holidays
2 Long Travel
3 Archipelago Choice

Best Holiday Company to the Iberian Peninsula
Large
1 Thomson
2 First Choice
3 Saga Holidays
Medium
1 Titan
2 Travelsphere
3 Sovereign Luxury Travel
Small
1 Light Blue Travel
2 Simpson Travel
3 Martin Randall Travel

Best Holiday Company to the USA
Large
1 Virgin Holidays
2 Thomas Cook
3 Trailfinders
Medium
1 Titan
2 Travelsphere
3 American Sky
Small
1 TrekAmerica
2 Scenic Tours
3 Holidays By Rail

Best Holiday Company to Canada
Large
1 Virgin Holidays
2 Canadian Affair
3 Saga Holidays
Medium
1 Titan
2 Travelsphere
3 Discover the World
Small
1 TrekAmerica
2 Trafalgar
3 1st Class Holidays

Best Holiday Company to the Middle East
Large
1 Virgin Holidays
2 Saga Holidays
3 Kuoni
Medium
1 Emirates Holidays
2 Travelsphere
3 Destinology
Small
1 Etihad Holidays
2 Cox & Kings
3 Luxury Destinations

Best Holiday Company to Southeast Asia
Large
1 Saga Holidays
2 Thomson
3 Hayes and Jarvis
Medium
1 Emirates Holidays
2 Travelsphere
3 Explore
Small
1 Imagine Asia
2 Wendy Wu Tours
3 Bales Worldwide

Best Villa/Self Catering Holiday Booking Company
Large
1 James Villas
2 holidaylettings
3 Eurocamp
Medium
1 Villa Plus
2 West Wales Holiday Cottages
3 Oliver's Travels
Small
1 Solmar Villas
2 Simpson Travel
3 Debbie's Villas

Best Online Travel Agency
1 Expedia.co.uk
2 Booking.com
3 TravelRepublic

Best Hotel Booking Company
1 Booking.com
2 Expedia.co.uk
3 LateRooms.com

Best Specialist & Small Ships Cruise Line
1 Saga Holidays
2 Voyages of Discovery
3 Hurtigruten

Best Worldwide Luxury Hotel Brand
1 Small Luxury Hotels of the World
2 Sofitel
3 Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Best Worldwide Economy Hotel Brand
1 Premier Inn
2 Holiday Inn
3 Days Inn

Best Holiday Attraction Ticket Provider
1 TravelRepublic
2 The London Pass
3 Attraction Tickets Direct

Best UK Coastal Resort
1 Bournemouth
2 Tenby
3 Bude

Best Travel Retailer for Customer Service
Large
1 Thomson
2 Kuoni
3 First Choice
Medium
1 Barrhead Travel
2 The Midcounties Co-operative Travel
3 Destinology
Small
1 Spear Travels
2 Travelwise
3 Dawson & Sanderson

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