Chairman of the Tourism Alliance, Bernard Donoghue, who chaired the shortlisting panel, presented the awards in front of an audience of over 200 at an appropriately-themed ‘Ceilidh’ gala dinner at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort, in Scotland.
UKinbound Chairman Mark McVay said, “Our awards give deserved recognition to businesses, big and small, from the travel and tourism sector who have excelled in their individual categories. What makes them so special is that they are voted for by their peers from within the industry”.
The Tour Operator of the Year was awarded to JacTravel; the Attraction of the Year award went to Hampton Court (Historical Royal Palace); Marriott Hotels won Accommodation Provider of the Year for the second year running. London & Partners was awarded with Destination Marketing Company of the Year. Service Provider of the Year – Professional Services was awarded, for the sixth year running, to made. City Cruises won Service Provider of the Year – Transport and Sightseeing. Restaurant, Retail and Ticketing Service Provider of the Year was awarded to Encore Tickets.
In addition, earlier in the day, McVay presented his Chairman's Award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism to, Fergus Ewing, the Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism and Member of the Scottish Parliament representing the constituency of Inverness & Nairn, for his demonstrated continuity and commitment to ensuring that Scotland is a world class destination for the inbound market.
McVay said that all UKinbound members deserved recognition, commenting “Despite a tough year, inbound tourism is still one of the UK’s success stories. With inbound tourists expected to break spending records, it has been suggested that overseas visitors to the UK will spend almost £23 billion throughout 2016, a projected 4.2% increase on spending in 2015. I would like to thank each and every one of our members for contributing to this success”.
The UKinbound awards were presented during the Association’s Annual Convention, themed around ‘Staying GREAT’, which took place 10-12 February in Scotland, for the first time in over a decade. The event featured an impressive line-up of speakers including Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Damian Cook, Founder and CEO of E-Tourism Frontiers and Charlie Smith, Marketing Director of VisitScotland.
Macdonald Hotels & Resorts Deputy Chief Executive Ruaridh Macdonald said: “We are delighted to be hosting such a significant event. The tourism industry is the backbone of the Highland economy and Macdonald Aviemore Resort is dedicated to doing everything it can during its half centenary year and beyond to support and encourage growth. Our recent £8 million investment indicates our commitment to Aviemore, Scotland, the UK and beyond.”