CalMac takes title at National Tourism Awards
West coast ferry operator CalMac has picked an award at the UK National Coach Tourism Awards.
They were crowned Cross Sea Carrier Of The Year at a ceremony in Birmingham last night (March 16).
The category was for organisations that provide cross-sea services - between the UK and the continent, and short-sea UK crossings - and who could demonstrate a commitment to welcoming coaches, coach groups and coach drivers.
CalMac took the award in the face of stiff competition from some of the UK's biggest names in ferry travel including P&O and Irish Ferries as well as the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle service.
CalMac operates services to 24 island destinations and remote mainland locations across the west coast of Scotland and last year carried more than 11,000 coaches.
The top three coach destinations in the company's network are Bute, Skye and Cumbrae but all of CalMac's major routes offer tour operators access to some of the most stunning and scenic parts of the country.
Picture shows: Anthea Turner presents the award for Cross Sea Carrier of the Year to CalMac's senior coach and haulage account manager, Ian Fox (right) and business development manager, Paul Freeman.
"We recognise that coach tour operators and coach groups are vital for the island economies we serve, they bring tens of thousands of tourists from the UK and overseas every year. So, I'm delighted we've been recognised for the work we've done to proactively develop and market our coach business. CalMac has a dedicated travel trade team that has built up an excellent relationship with operators over many years and know their requirements inside out," said CalMac's commercial director, Jocelyn McConnachie.
Last year CalMac worked with Transport Scotland to introduce new series of day trip destinations for the coach tour industry which included entrance to island visitor attractions in the price of the ticket.
"We are committed to working ever more closely with our partners in the coach tour community to make sure their customers get the most out of their trip. This award is great recognition for the progress we are making in helping to add value for operators using our services," added Jocelyn.