French Travel Awards 2012, Arblaster & Clarke on stage three times! — Posted on: 01/06/2012
ATOUT France French Travel Awards 2012
Arblaster & Clarke scooped Best Destination Specialist Tour Operator 2012 (winner), Best Coach Holidays Tour Operator (winner) and Best Short Break Tour Operator (runner up).
At the award ceremony held in London on 1 June 2012 Lynette Arblaster & Tim Clarke of Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours were kept busy visiting the stage to collect three awards out of the total of eight categories!
Host for the evening, BBC Breakfast TV Presenter Bill Turnbull congratulated the couple on their 25 years of business. The first ever Arblaster & Clarke Champagne Weekend coincided almost exactly with the date of the event.
The awards are given bi-annually and are judged by a panel of five independent judges from the Travel Trade and presented at a Gala Dinner organised by Atout France, the French Government Tourist Office for the UK and Ireland.
Tim writes: “For us to win the ‘Destination Specialist’ award was fabulous. What we do is normally considered to be so niche that we would only be considered for the ‘Special Interest’ category. Wine and Gastronomy are of course central to French Culture, and this is what we explore, love and celebrate.
The ‘Best Coach Holidays Operator’ was great too. Coach travel often has an image of being cheap and perhaps downmarket, which is unfair. The majority of our tours use coaches, even our ‘Reserve Collection’. We have always believed that travel by coach, rather than self-drive, is the way to do the highest quality wine tours.
Coming in as Runner-up for the “Best Short Breaks” was however the real shock. We were head to head with the major tour operators and short break specialists for this and I nearly fell off my chair when I heard the result.
Thank you to the Judges and to Atout France for organising the awards; to all the chateaux, domaines and Champagne houses that we have visited; to our coach companies, all our French suppliers, our staff and guides,and of course, our clients.”
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