Published on Wednesday, November 29, 2017

'Oscars' of the travel industry revealed

Sandals has lost its crown as the Best All-Inclusive Hotel & Resort, which it has held for the past 10 years.

Instead, the title has gone to RUI Hotels & Resorts, which also won Best International Upscale Hotel Brand at this year's British Travel Awards. 

The announcement was made by comedian and impressionist Jon Culshaw, who took to the stage to present the awards at a Winter Wonderland themed Gala dinner, held in London and attended by almost 1,000 travel industry guests. Culshaw stood in at the last minute for former Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins.

In the battle of the tour operators Titan did the best, taking 10 Gold awards; with On the Go Tours receiving eight. Emirates Holidays and Mercury Holidays each received five Golds; Virgin Holidays, Tui, Sailing Holidays, Kuoni, Hayes & Jarvis, Flight Centre and Newmarket Holidays three and Shearings and Opodo received two Golds.

For the first time ever two companies received exactly the same number of votes for the same award. Leger Holidays and Titan were pronounced joint winners of the Best Coach Holiday Company.

Reintroduced after a few years' absence, the Best Airline Awards saw British Airways win Best European Airline, Virgin Atlantic win Best Westbound Longhaul Airline, with Best Eastbound Longhaul Airline going to Etihad Airways.

Cornwall held on to the Best UK Holiday County or Destination Award, which it has held since 2009; the county also claimed, for the second year running, the Best UK Leisure Attraction Award, which went to The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

The Best UK Seaside Destination went to Bournemouth and for the second year running the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland received the Best UK Heritage Attraction Award.

Sofitel received Best International Luxury Hotel Brand, Novotel Best International Midscale Hotel Brand with Ibis taking Best International Economy Hotel Brand.

This year's new Best LGBT Holiday Company Award saw Hoseasons named as the top large tour operator and the best small tour operator.

Avis was again a winner claiming Best Car Hire Provider'with the Best Airport Parking Company going to APH (Airport Parking & Hotels) for the eighth year running, and nine-year winners, P&O Ferries won Best Ferry Booking Website and Best Ferry/Mini Cruise Operator.

Viking Cruises took three awards: 'Best Luxury Cruise Line', 'Best River Cruise Line' and 'Best Midsize Ships Cruise Line'.

Highlights from the British Travel Awards will be aired on Made Television on December 1 at 8pm in a dedicated one-hour special programme.

For a full list of winners, click here.

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