Glasgow company win Best Small Tour Operator award

by Anna Redman

Glasgow-based company, McKinlay Kidd, recently won The Guardian and Observer’s 2011 travel industry award for “Best Small Tour Operator.” Voted by readers of the The Guardian and Observer, they achieved an impressive 99.6% satisfaction rate, McKinlay Kidd triumphed against many larger, more established companies such as Wild Frontiers, Saddle Skedaddle, Audley Travel and Milestones Tours.

McKinlay Kidd is a company that specializes in organizing independent tailor-made Scottish and Irish holidays. The company was established in 2003 by Robert Kidd and Heather McKinlay and has continued to grow over the past eight years. With the downfall of the Scottish economy and a small staff of five, the firm could easily have suffered. Instead they have flourished.

Senior member of McKinlay Kidd staff, Julie Morris, who has been with the company for five years, had the good fortune of attending this year’s award ceremony. In possession of the most sought after ticket in town, or at least in her place of work, Julie was treated to The Guardian’s annual five star treatment.

This three-day event was held in the popular Spanish tourist destination, Tenerife. Awards ceremonies in previous years have been held in Bangkok, Wales, and in 2012 Flanders will be added to the list.

The “prestigious and glamorous” awards ceremony did not disappoint. The awards were black tie and hosted in a banana plantation. Julie said:- “We walked along a long path lined with bananas and torches. It was beautiful, but very long, and felt even longer in heels! As we were walking along there was suddenly an explosion of sound and a band appeared to lead us the rest of the way.” Journalist and Observer columnist, Mariella Frostrup, hosted the awards.

Julie greatly enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in this 25-year tradition and says she “came back feeling energized and positive.” The awards are “a reflection of people’s experience on holiday” and Julie is both pleased and proud to see that her employer is exceeding expectations. This was the first time that McKinlay Kidd has been involved in this awards ceremony and they are honoured to have won first time around. Find out more about the firm’s 2012 programme on their website.

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