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National Coach Tourism Awards 2016: Finalists announced

Press Release   •   Feb 03, 2016 14:07 GMT

The finalists of the 2016 National Coach Tourism Awards – the only national awards scheme to recognise and celebrate excellence and innovation across the coach tourism sector – have been announced.

This year’s judges had to choose from a record number of high calibre entries, with almost 200 coach tour operators, destinations, visitor attractions, hotels, and tourism industry suppliers competing across 19 specialist categories.

Previous winners, including Liverpool, Woburn Abbey & Gardens, Ashton-under-Lyne Market, The Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare, Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway, Windermere Lake Cruises, Irish Ferries, Albatross Travel, Edwards Coaches, and Epsom Coaches, are among the top names on this year’s shortlists.

Now in their 11th year, the annual awards are organised by Diversified Communications UK, and hosted by leading coach tourism trade magazine Coach Monthly. The 2016 winners will be unveiled at a prestigious award ceremony on Wednesday 16 March 2016 at the Vox, Resorts World, NEC Birmingham; following the first day of the British Tourism & Travel Show.

Tony Henthorn, group director at Diversified UK, says: “There are many tourism awards, but only the National Coach Tourism Awards specifically focuses on coach tourism. In recognising excellence and innovation across the industry, the awards continue to play a vital role in encouraging destinations and visitor attractions to improve the welcome they offer to coaches and groups. As in previous years, the calibre of entries has been incredible – congratulations and good luck to all our shortlisted finalists.”

National Coach Tourism Awards 2016 finalists include:

Coach Friendly Destination of the Year – sponsored by My Day Out

  • Ashton-under-Lyne Market and Town Centre
  • Beverley
  • Bournemouth
  • Burnham-on-Sea
  • Derry
  • Devizes
  • Liverpool
  • Perth City

  • Coach Friendly Visitor Attraction of the Year – sponsored by Planet Hollywood

  • Grand Pier (Weston Super Mare)
  • Longleat
  • National Memorial Arboretum
  • Powderham Castle
  • Scone Palace
  • West Midland Safari & Leisure Park
  • Woburn Abbey and Gardens

  • Coach Friendly Shopping Destination of the Year

  • Ashton-under-Lyne Market
  • Blackburn Markets
  • Bury Markets
  • Huntley's Country Stores
  • Oswaldtwistle Mills

  • Cross-Sea Carrier of the Year – sponsored by Edward Coaches

  • Calmac Ferries Ltd
  • Condor Ferries Ltd
  • DFDS Seaways
  • Eurotunnel
  • Irish Ferries
  • P&O Ferries

  • River and Inland Cruise Operator

  • City Cruises
  • Sabrina Tours Ltd
  • Stuart Line Cruises
  • Ullswater Steamers
  • Windermere Lake Cruises

  • Heritage Railway – sponsored by DFDS Seaways

  • Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway
  • Isle of Wight Steam Railway
  • Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
  • South Devon Railway
  • Vale of Rheidol Railway
  • West Somerset Railway

  • Accommodation Provider of the Year – Hotel Groups

  • Accor Hotels
  • Best Western
  • Hallmark Hotels
  • Hilton Worldwide
  • Marriott Hotels
  • Warner Leisure Hotels

  • Accommodation Provider of the Year – Individual Hotels

  • Hallmark Hotel - Mickleover Court
  • Mill Rythe Holiday Village
  • Porbyhan Hotel
  • Rendezvous Hotel
  • The Winnock Hotel
  • The Yarn Market Hotel

  • Ticket Supplier of the Year

  • Encore Tickets
  • Group Line
  • See Tickets

  • Tour Wholesaler of the Year – sponsored by P&O Ferries

  • Action Tours
  • Albatross Travel
  • Greatdays Travel Group
  • Independent Coach Travel (ICT)
  • Norman Allen Group Travel
  • Tour Providers

  • Holiday Programme of the Year

  • Deirdre Brown Travel
  • Edwards Coaches
  • Harry Shaw
  • Roberts Travel Group
  • Shaws Coaches
  • Shearings Holidays

  • Day Excursion Programme of the Year – sponsored by Warner Leisure Hotels

  • Eastons Coaches
  • Epsom Coaches
  • Johnsons Coach Travel
  • Shaws Coaches
  • Walton's Excursions
  • Woods Travel Ltd

  • Coach Tour Operator Brochure of the Year – sponsored by Towergate Chapman Stevens

  • Eastons Coaches
  • Edwards Coaches
  • Epsom Coaches
  • Harry Shaw
  • Leisuretime
  • Parrys International Tours
  • Silver Star Holidays

  • Coach Tourism Innovation of the Year – sponsored by Eurotunnel

  • Beverley Coach Campaign
  • Devon's Top Attractions
  • Epsom Coaches
  • Johnsons Coach Travel
  • Leisuretime
  • Merlin Entertainments
  • The Phoenix Artists' Club

  • Coach Tourism Professional of the Year

  • Alan Payling – South West (Torbay area)
  • Anne Blackham – Devon Association of Tourist Attractions
  • Bob and Linda Hodgson – Isle of Wight
  • Elizabeth Mounser – Continuum Attractions (York)
  • Ian Jefferies & Les Barber – Burnham-on-Sea
  • Jason Edwards – Edwards Coaches, Pontypridd
  • Margaret Bunker – Roberts Travel Group, Hugglescote
  • Coach Tour Driver of the Year – sponsored by Cornmarket Insurance

  • Alyn Frankel – Moving People, Lancashire
  • Chris Martin – Alfa Travel, Chorley
  • David and Jeannette Hamilton – Hamiltons Coach Holidays, St Austell, Cornwall
  • Glyn Bowden – Edwards Coaches, Pontypridd
  • Jim McAndie – Blacks of Brechin, Angus
  • Tom & Louise Reynolds – Parrys International Tours, Walsall
  • Coach Tour Operator of the Year: Small Fleets (1 to 5 coaches) – sponsored by Norman Allen Travel

  • Dunwood Travel
  • Fenn Holidays Ltd
  • Hamilton's Coach Holidays
  • Tally Ho Coaches

  • Coach Tour Operator of the Year: Medium Fleets (6 to 15 coaches) – sponsored by Roadchef

  • Carol Peters Travel
  • Eastons Coaches
  • Epsom Coaches
  • Parrys International Tours
  • Roberts Travel Group
  • Whittles Coaches

  • Coach Tour Operator of the Year: Large Fleets (more than 15 coaches) – sponsored by Wrightsure Insurance Services

  • Alfa Travel Ltd
  • Bakers Dolphin
  • Edwards Coaches
  • Maynes Coaches
  • Shearings Holidays
  • Woods Travel Ltd
  • The judging panel, headed up by Chris Wales, chief executive of the Coach Tourism Council (CTC) and president of Diversified UK’s Coach Drivers’ Club, includes Claire Hancer, UK country manager at Efteling Theme Park Resort, Mandy Keating, product development manager at Diamond Holidays, and Sylvia Saxon, owner of Saxon Group Travel.

    The National Coach Tourism Awards 2016 will take place at The Vox, Resorts World, NEC Birmingham, on 16 March. For further information and to book tickets to attend, please visit

    To register for a free trade ticket to British Tourism and Travel Show, please visit and enter priority code BTTS200 (alternatively, please use direct link:


    Media enquiries & press pass requests to:

    Emma-Louise Jones, Head of PR
    t: +44 (0)1273 645134

    Awards enquiries to:

    Louisa Pope, Awards Manager
    t: +44 (0)1273 645140


    High res images available upon request.

    Diversified Communications UK (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough and Nailsworth. In addition to National Coach Tourism Awards, Diversified UK’s portfolio includes Coach Monthly; British Tourism & Travel Show; Coach & Bus Live; Euro Bus Expo; The Route One Operator Excellence Awards; Accountex; lunch!; Casual Dining; Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards; Commercial Kitchen; Natural & Organic Products Europe; Nordic Organic Food Fair & Natural Products Scandinavia in Malmö, Sweden; Natural and Organic Awards; camexpo; office*; SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show; GEO Business; Capturing Reality; Ocean Business; and MARELEC Marine Electromagnetics conference. For more information, visit:

    Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face–to–face events, digital and print publications and television stations. Diversified serves a number of industries including: seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine, and business management. Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified employs over 850 staff, across eight divisions in seven countries. For more information, visit:

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