UKinbound, the organisation that represents the UK’s inbound tourism industry, has honoured 11 of its members with its Awards of Excellence 2012. The recipients were announced before an audience of more than 250 UKinbound members and travel industry guests at a Gala Dinner held at the magnificent MacDonald Saville Court Hotel on the edge of Windsor Great Park.
The UKinbound Awards were presented following the organisation’s annual convention, entitled ‘After the Gold Rush’, which took place 6-8 February in Windsor and featured an impressive line-up of speakers that included celebrated chef, Raymond Blanc as well as travel industry heavyweights, such as Sandie Dawe (CEO, VisitBritain) and Julie Southern (COO, Virgin Atlantic).
The coveted UKinbound Awards for Excellence recognise outstanding achievement and continued excellence amongst members within the inbound tourism industry.
The Tour Operator of the Year Award was awarded to London based, incoming tour operator business Angela Shanley Associates. The company arranges accommodation, transfers, travel-cards, sightseeing tours, attractions, restaurants, theatre tickets and Eurostar tickets for tourists coming to the UK.
The Warner Bros Studio Tour London won the Individual Attraction of the Year Award; the Sightseeing Provider of the Year was awarded to The Original London Sightseeing Tour and VisitBritain was given the Destination Marketing Company of the Year accolade. Westfield received the award for Retail Destination of the Year.
Hotel Group of the Year was Guoman and Thistle Hotels, with the Individual Hotel or Individual Hostel of the Year prize going to the Guoman Cumberland Hotel at London’s Marble Arch. World Travel Market received the Travel Trade Event of the Year Award.
The Service Provider of the Year Award was given to made Tourism Marketing and the company’s Matt Littlechild received The Industry Rising Star Award; Matt joined made less than three years ago after graduating from Leeds university.
Finally the Chairman’s Award for Recognition of Services to Tourism, presented by UKinbound Chairman Rita Beckwith, went to Ann Wilson Head of Sales at Historic Royal Palaces. Ann has been influential and inspirational in the transformation of the Association to its present day, a true ambassador for the industry and a unified voice of inbound tourism.
UKinbound Chief Executive, Mary Rance, said: “2012 continued to challenge every area of travel, tourism and hospitality and UKinbound members had to work harder than ever to make their businesses work and for that I applaud all members.
Eleven members or individuals have, however, stood out with outstanding business practice and / or performance and I was delighted that they received UKinbound Excellence Awards – my congratulations to all winners.”
Notes to Editors
UKinbound is the only trade association that represents the UK’s inbound tourism industry including accommodation providers, inbound tour operators, destination marketing, attractions, tourism service providers and ground handlers. The primary aim of UKinbound is to help members manage successful, profitable businesses that are part of a vibrant and sustainable inbound tourism industry. They achieve this by focusing on advocacy, professionalism and networking. Inbound tourism is the UK’s sixth largest export industry.