Coach Travel Programme

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This category recognises the use of innovative and original ideas in development and implementation of programmes of coach tours and/or excursions. The judges look for programmes that are well-researched, and developed in partnership with quality suppliers and attractions.

Shearings' Your Time holidays.Winner, Gold Award: 2015 Touring Programme - Shearings Holidays

Shearings' product portfolio includes a mix of holiday durations to offer customers flexibility and choice, whilst also achieving consistently high levels of fleet utilisation. The company is constantly refreshing and adding to the programme by creating reasons to go with Shearings, based around Shearings' 50 hotels and showcasing special events in the UK and Europe.

The judges were really impressed by the fresh thinking that had gone into the Shearings programme, particularly the development of "reasons to go": holidays built around special events, exclusive venue visits and important anniversaries. Providing new reasons to travel is a constant challenge to tour operators, and the judges thought this had been achieved very well. Also singled out for praise was the work done to open the market to more departures for single people. Variety, choice and flexibility are the watchwords for a what is a relatively mature product and the judges felt that the Shearings programme delivered all these very well.

The cover of one of Eastons' 2015 brochures.Winner, Silver Award: The 2015 Tour Programme - AW Eastons Coaches

Established over 60 years ago, AW Eastons Coaches has built an enviable reputation for quality coach holidays across the UK and beyond, which teh company puits down to its absolute dedication to their customer's satisfaction. Eastons' customers rely on the company for new and exciting destinations and its much-appreciated free home collection service on all holidays of five days or more.

The judges praised a varied and interesting programme carefully targeted to reinforce an already strong reputation and attract extra customers through a widened choice of destinations and themes.

Johnson's 2014 Christmas card.Winner, Bronze Award: 2014 Christmas Programme - Johnsons Coach & Bus Travel

Family run Johnsons Bus and Coach Travel nominated its 2014 Christmas Tours Programme for this award. Extensive research alongside marketing activities aimed at attracting new customers to the company, resulted in increased loading on 15 tours departing over three days in December.

The judges praised the hard work and new thinking that had gone into a targeted seasonal promotion. Such tightly focused programmes offer a one-off chance to gain both repeat and new business; they need careful preparation and strong promotion. The Johnsons programme delivered all this, and therefore achieved its objectives.

Epsom Coaches Great Britain and Europe 2015 by Coach, Air and Sea brochure.Finalists

Great Britain and Europe 2015 by Coach, Air and Sea - Epsom Coaches

Celebrating its 95th anniversary this year, Epsom Coaches' Great Britain and Europe 2015 travel programme offers what the company describes as "an excellent selection of holidays travelling with the best Tour Managers, on the best coaches, staying in the best hotels." Epsom was one of the first companies to offer a 'home holioday' service and enjoys high numbers of repeat cusomers.

Gardiners MNC's British & Continental Coach Holidays 2015 brochure.UK & Continental Coach Holidays - Gardiners NMC

Gardiners NMC Limited is a family run holiday company located in Morpeth, Northumberland, offerring a day excursion, and UK and continental holiday programme. All holidays include at least three star accommodation with all excursions and entrance costs included in the price. The company's holidays offer departures throughout the North East and are operated with its own fleet of 12 coaches.

Who could be nominated?

The award was open to operators of coach tour and excursion programmes on sale to the general public.

… and by whom?

Nominations were accepted from all eligible organisations, and self-nomination was acceptable.

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