Usually a live event, attended by a boisterous travel industry audience, this year consumer voters were also able to log in and join the fun.
In a very difficult year for the travel industry, with the majority of people unable to enjoy holidays overseas, some did however manage a break before and between lockdowns. In the circumstances a respectable 132,000 consumers voted, casting 244,000 votes, in the pared down 2020 British Travel Awards.
BTA CEO Lorraine Barnes Burton said: “This year was always going to be difficult, but we decided to go ahead with the Awards to give some travel companies a great start to 2021. The number of voters were understandably down on last year’s 402,734 registered voters, who cast 867,221 votes but it is brilliant given so many customers couldn’t actually travel this year, and there were no airline, cruise, ferry or hotel categories, which of course meant these companies did not encourage their own customers to vote. Voters were specifically asked to show their support for companies they had a good experience with, paying particular attention to customer service - recognising companies who had helped them with re-bookings, refunds and cancellations. The British Travel Awards is still the largest consumer voted awards in the UK and congratulations to all the worthy winners. We’re looking ahead and forward, all being well, to travelling again soon.”
The 2020 British Travel Awards covered 51 award categories, covering a range of leisure travel services and experiences, including tour operators big and small; coach, rail, camping and luxury holidays but this year no air or cruise categories, except river cruise holiday companies and cruise retailers.
In the battle of the tour operators, Titan Travel swept the board this year, winning an impressive seven Gold trophies in the medium sized company category, including Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company, Best Coach Holiday Company and Best Holiday Company to Central & Northern Europe.
First time BTA entrant, On the Beach, were not far behind, taking six Golds, including Best Online Travel Retailer in the large company category and Best LGBTQ+ Holiday Company.
Newmarket Holidays, also in the large category, took away four Golds, plus five Silvers. Travelbag won Best Holiday Company to Southeast Asia and Best Holiday Company to the Indian Ocean, in the medium category.
Of the small tour operators, Wendy Wu won three Golds for Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company, Best Holiday Company to Southeast Asia and Best Holiday Company to East & Central Asia.
Sadly, there were no airline awards this year but the tour operator divisions of Etihad and Emirates picked up awards. In the medium category Emirates Holidays won three Golds including Best Luxury Holiday Company and Best Holiday Company to the Middle East with Etihad Holidays winning the Middle East accolade in the small category.
Lots of companies hung on to awards for consecutive years including APH winning Best Airport Parking Company for an incredible eleventh year. Staysure won Best Travel Insurance Provider for
the fifth year; the Post Office won Best Foreign Exchange also for the fifth year and Canvas Holidays made it a hat trick winning Best Camping & Mobile Holiday Company in the medium category for
the third year. Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays retained the medium category Gold Awards for Best Holiday Company to Hellenic Europe and Best Villa Holiday. Olympic Holidays meanwhile
secured again the Hellenic Europe Award in the large category and also picked up Best Wedding & Honeymoons Holiday Company.
Travel Counsellors was again voted Best National Travel Retailer, beating Trailfinders who took silver and Tui the bronze. Silver Travel Advisor was awarded Best Travel Review / Ratings Website for the third time.
There were no cruise awards this year except for Best Cruise Holiday Retailer and Best River Cruise Company and these awards went to Bolsover Cruise Club and Viking Cruises.
In the UK, the Best Holiday Cottage Holiday Company Awards went to Coquet Cottages, Coast & Country Cottages and Sykes Holiday Cottages in the small, medium and large categories. Best UK Parks & Lodges Holiday Company went to Waterside Holiday Group, Verdant Leisure and Parkdean Resorts for small, medium and large companies.
The Teletext Holidays Best Travel Blogger went to the Travel Scribes with Great British Bucket List and Anywhere we Roam in second and third place.
A full list of award winners’, including those taking silver and bronze, will be posted on
NOTES TO EDITORS
The British Travel Awards is the largest awards programme in the UK created to reward the best companies in travel. The British Travel Awards are easily the most recognisable of all travel industry accolades amongst consumer and industry professionals alike with categories spanning all types of holiday experience - transport, destination, cruise, customer service, holiday extras, and accommodation. The British Travel Awards symbol is the benchmark for excellence when it comes to finding out who really is the best in the business.
The British Travel Awards are funded by the registration fees and patronage of sponsors who have identified the ROI from increased brand visibility and sales opportunities as the consumer and trade audience grows exponentially year-on-year.
14th December 2020