Well, what a year it has been! Almost 300 companies registered to take part in the British Travel Awards 2014 to give their customers a chance to vote for them, so we could find out which companies have been providing the best products and services in leisure travel throughout the year. The consumer opinion is key for The British Travel Awards voting process - it's the only criteria on which the final results are based, and as an independent arbiter of public opinion, we are proud to represent consumer opinion for what is usually a significant part of the annual family budget! Your holidays are important to you - and getting it right is important to the travel industry, as is clearly shown by the number of companies who took part this year, and who wanted to find out how they are doing in the eyes of their all-important customers.
And now, we are delighted to say, the results are in - all verified and scrutinised by our partners at Deloitte - and the winners of this year's British Travel Awards can now proudly display their winner logos on their brochures and websites to let their customers know they are booking with a winning company! We presented 143 winner trophies at this year's gala British Travel Awards event on 25th November as well as silver and bronze certificates across the consumer voted categories including hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, on-line booking companies, UK attractions, self-catering operators, car-hire, ocean and river cruise companies, specialist travel, coach holidays, singles trips, families and all inclusive, luxury and also travel insurance and travel money retailers.
This year, we achieved even more votes than ever before - with over 1.2 million votes cast across the categories, thanks to the efforts of our media partners at Trinity Mirror PLC and their national and regional newspaper titles, plus Exterion Media with their underground video ad campaign. Also, the companies who were registered in this year's categories contacted their customers to encourage votes and of course the subscribers to our weekly e-newsletter BTA Connect, plus previous BTA consumer voters all voted in this year's BTAs to make it the most comprehensive survey of public opinion on travel in the world!
I'd like to thank this year's BTA partners and sponsors who help us put together this year's BTAs, and all of the companies who provided holiday prizes to encourage consumer votes via the BTA official voting process. I'd also like to congratulate all of the companies who won a coveted British Travel Award and the silver and bronze finalists this year - but mostly, I'd like to thank all of the UK's travel-interested consumers who took the time to vote in what, (let's be honest), is not a quick voting process! Without you giving up your time to tell us who you consider to be the best in travel, we would never have an independent benchmark like the British Travel Awards to make sure travel companies keep giving you the holidays and customer service you want, and deserve.
Thanks once again to everyone who took part this year - and don't forget to subscribe to the totally free BTA Connect for your weekly e-newspaper on what is happening in the British Travel Awards world!
All the best - and happy holidays!
Lorraine Barnes Burton
CEO, the British Travel Awards