Hays Travel has been named best travel agency for the over-50s in this year’s Silver Travel Awards.

Tui and last year’s winners Trailfinders were highly commended in the category in this week’s ceremony, the sixth instalment of the awards and the first to be hosted virtually.

Broadcaster and former MP Gyles Brandreth was master of ceremonies for the event, which was live-streamed from London’s Wallace Collection museum as hundreds of travel industry colleagues tuned in.

A record 225,000 votes were cast across the 22 main awards. The event is run by Silver Travel Advisor, the  holiday reviews and advice site for mature travellers.

Warner Leisure Hotels won the inaugural award for Best UK Breaks Operator, while the other new awards for 2020 – Best UK Town or Resort and Best Travel Deals Website – went to York and Travelzoo respectively.

Cruise lines Viking and Hurtigruten, and operator Riviera Travel, won multiple awards. Viking won the Silver-i Breakthrough Award for innovation and Best Luxury River Cruise Line. Hurtigruten won Best Specialist Cruise Line and shared the Silver-i Footprint Award for responsible travel with APT Travel Group. Riviera Travel won Best City Breaks Operator and Best River Cruise Line.

Silver Travel Advisor managing director Debbie Marshall said: “Older travellers may not have had the opportunity to holiday quite as they intended this year, but they have been keen to show their support for the travel companies that have best delivered for the over-50s in these unprecedented times.

“With the inimitable Gyles Brandreth on fine form as the witty master of ceremonies and the action taking place in the Wallace Collection, home to The Laughing Cavalier and other outstanding artworks, the spirit of the Silver Travel Awards was still very much to the fore.”


The full list of winners in the Silver Travel Awards are:

Best Adventure or Activity Tour Operator
Winner: HF Holidays
Highly commended: Inghams Lakes & Mountains and Ramblers Walking Holidays

Best Cultural Tour Operator
Winner: Titan Travel
Highly commended: Jules Verne and Travel Editions

Best City Breaks Operator
Winner: Riviera Travel
Highly commended: Saga Holidays and Kirker Holidays

Best Self‑Catering Travel Company
Winner: Eurocamp
Highly commended: Forest Holidays and Holiday Property Bond

Best Villa Holiday Company
Winner: Villa Plus
Highly commended: Sunvil and Simpson Travel

Best Destination Specialist Company
Winner: Wendy Wu Tours
Highly commended: Frontier Travel and Serenity Holidays

Best Ocean Cruise Line
Winner: Fred Olsen Cruise Lines
Highly commended: Saga Cruises and NCL

Best Premium or Luxury Cruise Line
Winner: Princess Cruises
Highly commended: Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises

Best Specialist Cruise Line
Winner: Hurtigruten
Highly commended: Hebridean Island Cruises and Noble Caledonia

Best River Cruise Line
Winner: Riviera Travel
Highly commended: Emerald Waterways and Titan Travel

Best Luxury River Cruise Line
Winner: Viking
Highly commended: Scenic and Avalon Waterways

Best Escorted Coach Tour Operator
Winner: Saga Holidays
Highly commended: Titan Travel and Riviera Travel

Best Luxury Tour Operator
Winner: Cox & Kings
Highly commended: Scenic and First Class Holidays

Best Rail Holiday Company
Winner: Great Rail Journeys
Highly commended: Ffestiniog Travel and Railbookers

Best Accessible Travel Provider
Winner: Enable Holidays
Highly commended: Saga Holidays and Limitless Travel

Best Car Rental Company
Winner: Avis
Highly commended: Enterprise and Hertz

Best UK Breaks Operator
Winner: Warner Leisure Hotels
Highly commended: HF Holidays and Alfa Travel

Best Operator for the Single Traveller
Winner: Solos Holidays
Highly commended: Just You and One Traveller

Best Travel Deals Website
Winner: Travelzoo
Highly commended: Expedia and Secret Escapes

Best UK Town or City
Winner: York
Highly commended: Edinburgh and Bournemouth

Best Overseas Destination
Winner: Italy
Highly commended: New Zealand and Canada

Best Travel Agency
Winner: Hays Travel
Highly commended: Tui and Trailfinders

The Silver-i Breakthrough Award for innovation
Winner: Viking
Highly commended: Revitalise, Emerald Yacht Cruises

The Silver-i Footprint Award for responsible travel
Joint winners: APT Travel Group and Hurtigruten
Highly commended: Celebrity Cruises

The Silver-i Paper Award for an outstanding print advertisement
Winner: Ramblers Walking Holidays
Highly commended: Silversea, Leger Holidays (by Accord Marketing)