2018 Tour Operators by Holiday Type Awards

Tour Operator - Definition

A tour operator (holiday company) buys - or owns in some cases - a high volume of travel components across carriers, accommodation and services. These components are then assembled into packages for purchase by the consumer, all for one price. The packages are sold via travel agents (independent or owned) or through the phone and internet. Niche tour operators may specialise in destinations, activities and experiences or a combination thereof.


Entry criteria


Open to companies and brands that:

  • Offer land based package holidays (Cruise holiday operators should enter the Cruise Lines sector, retailers should enter the Travel Agencies and Holiday Planning sector).
  • Have valid ATOL protection and display on the CAA website authorised passengers for the year of the licence holder's current licence.
  • OR, provide customer protection in the event of company failure via a recognised bonding or insurance scheme.

A01 - Best Family Holiday Tour Operator

Package holidays that include facilities and entertainment programmes for children. Companies operating in the UK only should enter Best UK Family Holiday/Holday Park Operator in the UK Domestic Holidays & Visitor Attractions sector.

A02 - Best Luxury Holiday Tour Operator

Package holidays featuring upscale to luxury accommodation (see International Hotel Brand Awards for reference) - generally 5 star and above, scheduled flights, private transfers etc.

A03 - Best All-inclusive Tour Operator

Package Holidays that - along with flights, transfers and accommodation - include a minimum of three meals daily, beverages, most alcoholic drinks and gratuities plus a range of sports, activities and entertainment within the holiday price.

A04 - Best Singles Holiday Tour Operator

Package holidays for single travellers; small group tours where customers have the opportunity to mix and socialise with like-minded people.

A05 - Best LGBT Holiday Tour Operator

Holiday desgned specifically for the LGBT community where packages have been developed to gay-friendly destinations and resorts.

A06 - Best Wedding Holiday Tour Operator

Specialist wedding organisers offering holidays in European and overseas destinations. Tour operators offering Wedding and Honeymoon packages should consider entering Best Luxury Tour Operator.

A07 - Best Special Interest Holiday Tour Operator

Package holidays for special interest groups e.g. culture, arts and crafts, music, history, culinary etc.

A08 - Best Activity/Sports Holiday Tour Operator

Customer participation package holidays e.g. cycling, diving, golf, riding, sailing, sports, trekking etc.

A09 - Best Ski & Winter Sports Tour Operator

Package holidays for skiing, snowboarding and winter sports enthusiasts. Chalet and accommodation companies who offer transport booked via a third party should enter Best Winter Sports Accommodation Provider in the accommodation sector.

A10 - Best Escorted Tours Operator

Package holidays where travellers are escorted in a group to various destinations.

A11 - Best Escorted Adventure Holiday Tour Operator

"Off the beaten track" package holidays to remote or extreme locations accompanied by professional guides.

A12 - Best Coach Holiday Tour Operator

Package holidays involving coach transport, inclusive of accommodation, can be single or multi-centred destinations and usually involve excursions.

A13 - Best Rail Holiday Tour Operator

Escorted package holidays involving rail transport, inclusive of accommodation and usually include excursions.

A14 - Best Camping & Mobile Tour Operator

Holidays to European and overseas destinations with facilities for camping and caravanning, glamping, lodge, holiday park accommodation etc. Companies operating in the UK only should enter Best UK Family Holiday/Holday Park Operator in the UK Domestic Holidays & Visitor Attractions sector.

A15 - Best Safari, Wildlife and Nature Tour Operator

Package holidays where the primary goal is watching wildlife in their natural habitat. Types of safari can vary from small, seasonal tented camps to large permanent structures. Viewing can be done on foot, horseback, in vehicles or by boat depending on the terrain,

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