Coach Tourism Awards 2013
'Recognising excellence and innovation across the coach tourism community’
The Coach Tourism Awards is the only national award scheme to specifically focus on coach tourism. The awards, brought to you by leading coach tourism trade magazine, Coach Monthly, recognise excellence and innovation across coach tour operators, destinations, tourist attractions and tourism industry suppliers.
Liverpool Cathedral hosts record-breaking awards
A record number of around 450 industry professionals and guests from across the coach tourism community gathered in Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral on Thursday 9 May to see which coach tour operators, destinations, visitor attractions, and industry suppliers would win one of the 18 prestigious awards.
The event, now in its eighth year, attracted more than double the number of entries compared to 2012, and received support from more than 30 of the UK's leading tourism destinations, businesses and organisations.
The glittering awards dinner, held within the magnificent interior of the cathedral, featured a surprise appearance by leading soprano Rebecca Newman and tenor Gari Glaysher.
The awards presentation, hosted by Coach Monthly editor Stuart Render, saw the welcome return of last year's co-host, television presenter and travel expert, Judith Chalmers.
A charity raffle raised more than £3,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support with the lucky winner going home with an iPad and a beautiful City of Derry Crystal Gondolino Vase donated by Tourism Ireland.
Wightlink Isle of Wight Ferries added another surprise to the evening by presenting the winners of the two Coach Tour Operator of the Year awards with a free return crossing for a coach, its driver and its passengers.
With a clear nod to the musical heritage of Liverpool, organisers had carefully chosen key pieces of popular music from across the years to accompany each event partner as they walked up to the stage to present the awards. The tracks included 'We'll keep a welcome in the hillsides' for South Wales-based Edwards Coaches; 'Food Glorious Food' for Planet Hollywood/Hospitality Line; 'The Tide is High' for Stena Line; 'Hey big Spender' for Liverpool ONE; 'Going Underground' for Eurotunnel Le Shuttle; and 'Day Tripper' for Norman Allen Group Travel.
The Coach Monthly 'Special Award', presented in recognition of his outstanding contribution to coach tourism, went to Roger Mott, managing director of Aylesbury-based Motts Travel. To tremendous applause, Roger walked to the stage to the music of 'King of the Road'.
At the end of the awards presentations, coaches, kindly supplied by Alfa Travel, took guests to the PanAm bar and restaurant on Albert Dock where the traditional after-show networking party continued into the small hours.
Coach tour operators travelling to Liverpool were able to find out more about the city thanks to two familiarisation trips organised by VisitLiverpool. Operators also took advantage to meet with more than 30 suppliers at the popular annual Coach Tourism Workshop that took place during the afternoon of the awards at the Thistle Atlantic Tower Hotel.
Stuart Render, Editor of Coach Monthly, says the event was a huge success.
"This really is the only national awards scheme that specifically focuses on coach tourism, a fact borne out by the tremendous support received from across the industry. I'd like to offer a huge thank you to everyone who supported the event. We will be listening to the feedback and putting our plans together for the Coach Tourism Awards 2014."
Click here to see the full list of winners and finalists.
Click here to see a selection of photographs from the event.
A full report on the Coach Tourism Awards 2013 will appear in the June issue of Coach Monthly, due out on 6 June.