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Family Traveller Excellence Awards 2019: Winners

Ben Smith
14th November 2019

Meet the winners of this year’s Family Traveller Excellence Awards – 50 travel organisations who offer families truly exceptional travel experiences.

Family Traveller Editor, Jane Anderson, talks family travel trends at the Awards

50 of the world’s top travel experiences and attractions have been crowned winners in the newly formatted Family Traveller Excellence Awards, hosted by renowned singer-songwriter and mum of five, Sophie Ellis-Bextor. The event was held at the spectacular Natural History Museum Ice Rink in South Kensington, London, on Wednesday 13 November. 

To cater more pertinently to the changing way in which British families travel and reflect emerging holiday trends, we did away with traditional award categories, such as Best Hotel for Families, instead giving our readers the freedom to nominate the travel brands and experiences that they find truly awesome and inspiring. 

Among the themes that emerged from the nominations, two stood out in particular: sustainable intentions and inclusive wellness. These seem to demonstrate our readers increasing focus on the impact that their holidays have on the world. Pester power from our children has become less about materialistic things and more about climate change and world events.

Getting Christmas-y at the awards venue, the Natural History Museum Ice Rink

Thanks to climate change leaders like Greta Thunberg, children are realising that they do have a voice and can use it to make a change, which is why, for the first time, we recruited a kids’ panel to help us decide our award winners. 

Our readers cast over 110,000 votes (double the number case in our 2018 awards), to determine the 50 Family Traveller Excellence Awards winners. Host Sophie Ellis-Bextor said: “The outstanding calibre of the award winners really shows what’s important to Family Traveller readers when choosing and booking their holiday experiences. As a mum of five boys it’s important to me that they not only have a wonderful time, but they are also educated by other cultures and experiences.”

From left: Ayla’s Hamzah Shaban, our host Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Family Traveller Editor, Jane Anderson and CEO, Andrew Dent

Jane Anderson, editor, Family Traveller added: “It’s vital to us that we’re constantly evolving with the times and offering our audience choice. We know their holidays are precious and we have seen from the awards that sustainability and environmental impact is a real deciding factor when they choose to book an experience or holiday. We want to support those intentions and will continue to raise the bar with the content we create for our readers and make sure it’s topical and informative to help them make those decisions.”

Travel professionals and writers watch the Awards ceremony

The winners

Six Senses Laamu has an outstanding Junior Marine Biology programme

Sustainable intentions

These awards recognise the organisations working hard to make sure we leave a positive impact on the natural and cultural environment we visit.

Hillside Beach Club offers a creative film festival for families

Cool innovations

We all love something new and innovative and this award is to recognise the attractions and initiatives doing something completely different. 

Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain at Disneyland Paris

Awesome thrills and spills 

It does what it says on the tin – all of these winning experiences are guaranteed to get your heart beating just a little faster.

Crans-Montana Switzerland provides a magical winter festival

Immersive Experiences

This is to award the top five tours, treks and programmes which go beyond tourism and allow families to fully immerse themselves in a destination 

Camp Bestival in Dorset is full of creative delights for young kids

Pure Fun

When all you want to do is let go your cares of work and school and have a great time.

Ski rangers give parents an extra pair of hands at Esprit

On your marks

For those companies pushing the boat out when it comes to awesome physical activities such as sports academies.

Les Villages Nature Paris offers kids inspiring eco workshops

Learning and enrichment

This award recognises the forward-thinking initiatives which educate and enrich our children’s lives whilst on holiday. 

Beaches Resorts feature the loveable Julia, Sesame Street’s first character with autism

Accessible and specialist initiatives

Recognising the holiday companies who strive to support children and adults with extra needs to make sure fantastic holidays are available to everyone. 

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi encourages families to paint and draw together

Inclusive wellness

This theme is for travel companies who are showcasing there’s much more to wellness than just spas. 

Ikos Resorts adopt a creative approach when it comes to family holidays

Above and beyond

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