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29th Oct 2012 3:15pm | By Editor
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|
PSS International Removals
|Favourite Insurance Provider|
|Winner||Insure & Go|
|Finalists||Directline Travel Insurance
Go Travel Insurance
World First Travel Insurance
|Favourite Travel Transport|
|Favourite Travel Agency|
|Finalists||Co-operative Group Travel Ltd
|Favourite Short Haul Airline|
|Favourite Long Haul Airline|
|Favourite Finance Support Provider|
Thomas Exchange Global
|Favourite Festival Operator|
First Festival Travel
|Favourite Adventure / Activity / Sports Operator|
|Winner||Sail Croatia Adventures|
|Favourite Campervan / Caravan Operator|
|Winner||Wicked Campers UK & Europe|
Spaceships Campervan Rentals
|Favourite Ski / Winter Operator|
|Favourite Educational / Charity / Volunteering Operator|
i-to-i Travel & Volunteering
Work And Volunteer Abroad (WAVA)
|Favourite Small Tour Operator|
|Finalists||First Festival Travel
|Favourite Medium-size Tour Operator|
On the Go
|Favourite Big Tour Operator|
|Best Tour Itinerary|
|Favourite Africa Tour Operator|
|Favourite Middle East Tour Operator|
|Favourite America Tour Operator|
|Favourite South America Tour Operator|
|Favourite Hostel in East Europe|
Friendly Fun Frank's Hostel
Old Prague Hostel
St Christopher's Prague
|Favourite Hostel in West Europe|
|Finalists||Generator Hostel Berlin
St Christopher's Inn Paris
The Flying Pig Downtown
|Favourite Tour Operator in East Europe|
|Favourite Tour Operator in West Europe|
|Favourite Hostel in England|
Generator Hostel London
St Christophers Inn
|Favourite Hostel in Ireland|
|Winner||Generator Hostel Dublin|
|Finalists||Barnacles Hostel Temple Bar House
Dublin International Hostel
Killarney International Hostel
|Favourite Hostel in Scotland|
|Winner||Castle Rock Hostel Edinburgh|
|Finalists||Edinburgh Backpackers Hostels
St Christopher's Inn Edinburgh
|Favourite Hostel in Wales|
|Winner||Cardiff Backpacker Hostel|
|Favourite Tour Operator in England|
|Winner||The London Sightseeing Pass|
|Favourite Tour Operator in Ireland|
Inroads Ireland Tours
|Favourite Tour Operator in Scotland|
|Favourite Tour Operator in Wales|
|Finalists||Best of Britain