Host of the event, Springwatch’s Michaela Strachen, presented IOW Tours with the ‘Best Group Tour Operator’ in the UK, as voted for by Industry and Group Travel Organisers – a category open to anyone that is involved in the group travel market in the UK.
Up against some industry heavyweights including Grand UK, Riviera Travel and Travelsphere, the award represents the team’s dedication to providing great holidays and events for group across the UK and Europe.
IOW Tours is especially pleased in receiving this award this year as they are also celebrating their 30th anniversary, with a series of Birthday Bashes to be held across the UK for their groups and customers.
The awards are voted for by readers of Group Travel Magazine. IOW Tours were proud to host Group Travel Magazine on the Island earlier this year to help showcase what travellers to the Isle of Wight can do off the beaten track and in the Winter months, to ensure tourism to the Island throughout the year. With visits to the Donald Gill Postcard Museum, the Isle of Wight Distillery, Cowes Classic Boat Museum and the Donkey Sanctuary, to name but a few, IOW Tours left the magazine readers in no doubt the Island is open for business all year round.
The driving force of IOW Tours is Islander Shirley Winn. From selling tickets to day-trippers at the end of Ryde Pier, she is now Managing Director and Owner of IOW Tours, building the company to be the National Group Tour Operator it is today. With 25 employees and significant investment in coaches, software and staff during the recession, IOW Tours is riding high and seeing success in securing nationwide event contracts and increases in passenger numbers, particularly with their ‘Off the Island’ brand Go WightAway.
After collecting the award Shirley said:
“I am so proud of each and everyone of my team that we have achieved this major awards; what makes it especially special is that it is our customers that not only nominate us for it but vote for us to win, so is a true reflection by how we are valued by customers.”
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Geoff Holt, Sales Manager at IOW Tours, was delighted that his team had beaten off competition from some of the well-known national operators. He said:
“IOW Tours has been operating on the Island for 30 years but we are not just about holidays to and from here. We heavily promote our Island, as we know it is fantastic destination, but we have a broad client base across the UK and take our groups all over the country, as well as further by coach.”