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Published on Wednesday, November 27, 2019

BTA winners announced

The winners of the 2019 British Travel Awards have been announced by TV presenter, broadcaster and writer Giles Brandreth at a New York Broadway themed ceremony held in London.

Between July and September this year, 402,734 consumers cast 867,221 votes for their favourite travel companies to determine the winners in the annual awards.

The BTAs are the largest UK consumer voted programme across any industry, not just travel.

In the battle of the tour operators, in the large company category, Newmarket Holidays swept the board winning an impressive seven Gold Awards, including Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company and Best Rail Holiday Company.

James Villas won five Gold Awards and Virgin Holidays and Saga each won four Gold Awards. Saga also won two awards in the cruise categories.

In the medium sized category, Emirates Holidays and Titan Travel both took home eight Gold awards.

Emirates Holidays' awards included Best Luxury Holiday Company and Best Holiday Company to Australasia. The operator came out on top as the company was also declared overall category winner in six of their awards for gaining more votes than the companies in the large and small tour operator categories.

Titan Travel's Gold Awards included Best Special Interest Company and Best Holiday Transfer Provider.

In the small tour operators' category five companies did exceptionally well - not only for winning Gold awards but also being named overall category winner. 

These companies were Solos Holidays, named Best Singles Holiday Company; Martin Randall Travel, Best Special Interest Holiday Company; a first-time winner Naturetrek, took Best Safari, Wildlife & Nature Travel Company; Journey Latin America , Best Holiday Company to Central & South America and Wendy Wu Tours, also a first time winner, was not only overall winner in Best Holiday Company to East & Central Asia  but also small category winner of Best Holiday Company to Southeast Asia.

Best National Travel Retailer was won by Travel Counsellors and Best Independent Travel Agency was won by Stewart Travel in the medium category and Fleetway Travel in the small.

A new award for Best Assisted/Accessible Holiday Company was won by Traveleyes. The Silver award went to Enable Holidays and the Bronze to Limitless Travel.

In the airlines section, Jet2 snatched the title of Best Short Haul Airline from last year's winner Easyjet.

Emirates again won Best Long-haul Airline and also Best Business Class and Virgin Atlantic won Best Economy Class.

A Best Airport Category was introduced this year and the Gold awards were won by Birmingham Airport for Best Large UK Airport, Liverpool Airport for Medium Airport and Doncaster Sheffield for Best Small UK Airport.

The award for Best UK Holiday County has been dominated by Cornwall winning in recent years. The county lost out in 2018 but came back for 2019 reclaiming the title from surprise 2018 winner Northumberland, which has slipped back to the Silver Award, with the Peak District and Derbyshire awarded Bronze.

The Best UK Seaside Town BTA went to Bournemouth, with Bude in second place and Blackpool third.

The Best UK Leisure Attraction went for the first time to Longleat, followed by York's Chocolate Story and the Emirates' Spinnaker Tower.

After several years of winning the Silver BTA for The Best UK Heritage Attraction, Edinburgh Castle is now triumphant taking the Gold Award, followed by new entry Silver winner Windsor Castle.

Celebrating for winning Gold for the tenth-year running is APH (Airport Parking & Hotels) winning Best Airport Parking Provider.

For the third year running Avis won the BTA for Best Car Hire Supplier.

The popular cruise sector awards saw Silversea pick up Best Ultra-Luxury Cruise Line and Best Specialist Cruise Line (Ocean & Expedition); P&O Cruises won Best Family Cruise Line and Viking Cruises Best River Cruise Line. P&O Ferries won Best Ferry/Mini Cruise Operator. Cruise Nation won Best Cruise Holiday Retailer.

In the hotel sector Accor brands Mercure Hotels won Best Midscale Plus Hotel Brand and Ibis Hotels won Best Midscale/Economy Hotel Brand. Best Luxury Hotels was awarded to Marriott and Best Upscale Hotel Brand to Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts.

In other awards the Post Office won Best Foreign Exchange Travel Money Retailer.

Another new category, The Teletext Best Travel Blogger Award, was won by, with taking the Silver Award.

Silver Travel Advisor won the Best Travel Review/Ratings Website and National Geographic Traveller (UK) won Best Consumer Holiday Magazine.

British Travel Awards' CEO Lorraine Barnes Burton said: "The British Travel Awards are voted for entirely by the travelling public and 2019 was a fantastic year for consumer engagement with registered voters up 20% on 2018 and the number of votes cast increased by 15% to 867,221.

"Competition was fierce across many of the categories and this year's winners should be very proud - congratulations to all winners and thank you to everyone who took the trouble to vote."

A full list of 2019 British Travel Awards winners, including those receiving certificates for silver and bronze positions will be posted on the BTA website

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