Blackpool-based school travel company, WST School Travel, has been named the UK’s Best School Tour Operator in The School Travel Awards 2016/17.
Organised by School Travel Organiser magazine and voted for by teachers, educational visit co-ordinators and firms within the sector across the UK, the awards highlight schools, organisations and people that support learning outside the classroom.
The winners were announced at the awards ceremony hosted by television journalist and national newsreader Fiona Bruce at the five-star Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London.
She is best known for anchoring BBC News broadcasts and has also presented peak time programmes such as Crimewatch, Antiques Roadshow, and Panorama.
The award follows WST Travel’s achievement in winning Best Customer Service at the British Youth Travel Awards in December last year. The firm has seen a tenfold increase in turnover since it was set-up in 2010, making it one of the sector’s fastest growing companies, carrying over 35,000 passengers this year alone.
Speaking of the award, Sian Belfield, WST Travel customer relations director said: “We’re delighted to win this award, especially as we’re not one of the biggest operators. We’re really proud that our loyal customers chose to vote for us and this achievement shows the strong relationship we have with them.
“A big thank you has to go to all those who give up their time to inspire children outside of the classroom. They make our marketplace so rewarding.”
Awarded the Customer Service Excellence and Investors in People standard, WST Travel started with a team of four in 2010 and following rapid expansion now employs 41 staff.
By choosing employees with the highest levels of specialist travel experience, the team has over 300 years’ combined industry experience.
Publisher of School Travel Organiser magazine, Rob Yandell, said: “These awards acknowledge the tremendous contribution made to pupils’ overall learning experience at both primary and secondary by people and experiences outside the classroom.”