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The cream of the independent travel industry has been celebrated at TNT Magazine’s Golden Backpack Awards.

In a spectacular gala evening event at Shaka Zulu in London last night, 32 winners were announced with awards presented by TNT Multimedia Chairman Ken Hurst.

Scroll down for full list of winners - and see photos from the night here.

Voted by TNT readers via live and online campaigns, the accolades recognised tour operators, airlines, accommodation and transport providers who have shown outstanding commitment to the adventure, backpacking and youth travel market.

It's the second time Golden Backpack Awards have been held in the UK – having been a huge success in Australia.

Winners included Busabout who along with sister companies Haggis Tours and Shamrocker scooped a total of 5 gongs, STA Travel, who were voted Favourite Travel Agent, Easyjet who bagged Favourite Short Haul Airline and Travel Talk, who were awarded Best Tour Itinerary.

The big winner of the night was Topdeck which scooped three awards for Favourite Ski / Winter Operator, favourite big tour operator, favourite tour operator in West Europe.

Travel service providers Excess Baggage and First Contact won Favourite Shipping Provider and Favourite Finance Support Provider respectively.

Intrepid Travel were voted Favourite Middle East Tour Operator as well as Favourite Medium-Sized Tour Operator. Adventure travel specialists Contiki won Favourite South America Tour Operator

TNT Editor Laura Chubb said: "This is the second year that we’ve held the Golden Backpack Awards in the UK and once again it’s been a huge success.

"The thing that makes these awards really count is that they’re voted for by the TNT readers. And who better to judge the best of the best in the travel industry than the people who actually go out and experience what these companies have to offer?

"It obviously means a lot to the winners, too, judging from the raucous reactions at the awards on the night! 

"Well done to everyone involved this year and we look forward to another great event in 2013."


Favourite Shipping Provider
Winner Excess Baggage
Finalists 1st Contact 
Anglo Pacific 
PSS International Removals
Favourite Insurance Provider
Winner Insure & Go
Finalists Directline Travel Insurance 
Downunder Insurance 
Go Travel Insurance 
World First Travel Insurance 
Favourite Travel Transport
Winner Eurostar
Finalists Busabout 
National Rail 
Favourite Travel Agency
Winner STA Travel
Finalists Co-operative Group Travel Ltd 
Flight Centre 
Thomas Cook 
Trailfinders Ltd 
Favourite Short Haul Airline
Winner easyJet
Finalists Aer Lingus 
British Airways 
Favourite Long Haul Airline
Winner Emirates
Finalists British Airways 
Singapore Airlines 
Virgin Atlantic
Favourite Finance Support Provider
Winner 1st Contact
Finalists MoneyGram 
Post Office 
Thomas Exchange Global 
Western Union
Favourite Festival Operator
Winner Busabout
Finalists Contiki 
First Festival Travel 
Stoke Travel 
Favourite Adventure / Activity / Sports Operator
Winner Sail Croatia Adventures
Finalists G Adventures 
The Fanatics 
Travel Talk 
Tucan Travel
Favourite Campervan / Caravan Operator
Winner Wicked Campers UK & Europe
Finalists Budget Campervans 
Scooby Campers 
Spaceships Campervan Rentals 
Favourite Ski / Winter Operator
Winner Topdeck
Finalists Contiki 
Ski Direct 
Travel Talk
Favourite Educational / Charity / Volunteering Operator
Winner Camp America
Finalists BUNAC 
i-to-i Travel & Volunteering 
Work And Volunteer Abroad (WAVA)
Favourite Small Tour Operator
Winner Haggis Adventures
Finalists First Festival Travel 
Trek America
Favourite Medium-size Tour Operator
Winner Intrepid
Finalists Busabout 
Cosmos Holidays 
On the Go 
Travel Talk
Favourite Big Tour Operator
Winner Topdeck
Finalists Contiki 
G Adventures 
Imaginative Traveller 
Thomas Cook
Best Tour Itinerary
Winner Travel Talk
Finalists Busabout 
Favourite Africa Tour Operator
Winner Absolute Africa
Finalists Acacia Africa 
Travel Talk 
Tucan Ltd
Favourite Middle East Tour Operator
Winner Intrepid
Finalists Contiki 
Travel Talk
Favourite America Tour Operator
Winner Trek America
Finalists Contiki 
G Adventures 
Favourite South America Tour Operator
Winner Contiki
Finalists G Adventures 
Trek America
Favourite Hostel in East Europe
Winner PLUS Hostels
Finalists Czech Inn 
Friendly Fun Frank's Hostel 
Old Prague Hostel 
St Christopher's Prague
Favourite Hostel in West Europe
Winner PLUS Hostels
Finalists Generator Hostel Berlin 
St Christopher's Inn Paris 
The Flying Pig Downtown 
Wombats Munich
Favourite Tour Operator in East Europe
Winner Busabout
Finalists Topdeck
Encounters Travel 
Travel Talk
Favourite Tour Operator in West Europe
Winner Topdeck
Finalists Contiki 
Euro Camp 
Favourite Hostel in England
Winner Clink78
Finalists Brighton Backpackers 
Generator Hostel London 
St Christophers Inn 
Favourite Hostel in Ireland
Winner Generator Hostel Dublin
Finalists Barnacles Hostel Temple Bar House 
Dublin International Hostel 
Hostels Club 
Killarney International Hostel
Favourite Hostel in Scotland
Winner Castle Rock Hostel Edinburgh
Finalists Edinburgh Backpackers Hostels 
Haggis Hostels 
Morags Lodge 
St Christopher's Inn Edinburgh 
Favourite Hostel in Wales
Winner Cardiff Backpacker Hostel
Finalists Beacons Backpackers 
Nomad Cardiff 
NosDa Hostel 
Favourite Tour Operator in England
Winner The London Sightseeing Pass
Finalists Anderson Tours 
Golden Tours 
Favourite Tour Operator in Ireland
Winner Shamrocker
Finalists Contiki 
Inroads Ireland Tours 
Favourite Tour Operator in Scotland
Winner Haggis Adventures
Finalists Anderson Tours 
MacBackpackers Ltd 
Favourite Tour Operator in Wales
Winner Explore Wales
Finalists Best of Britain 
Haggis Adventures


TNT Golden Backpack Awards - the winners revealed
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