A travel company based in the English Lake District has won ‘Best Tour Operator website’ in the prestigious UK TravelMole Web Awards 2013 held earlier this month.
Archipelago Choice – based in Keswick – specialises in organising tailor-made activity holidays to the Azores and Cape Verde.
It’s the second major award for the family run business in less than a year, after they won ‘Best small tour operator to Western Europe’ last November in the British Travel Awards 2012.
Director Sarah Bennett, said: “It’s very exciting to receive this award as our website is our shop window bringing in over 90% of our business. Our site www.azoreschoice.com was completed last year and since then we have seen a 50% increase in business and a six-fold increase in site visitors. Clients say how easy it is to use and we love the fact it showcases the Azores so well with beautiful imagery and lots of exciting holiday ideas. We couldn’t have dreamed of the impact the new site would have and we are now in the process of updating our Cape Verde site too.”
Her husband and fellow Director, Ian Coates, said: “It is a very prestigious web award in the industry, judged by a panel of independent experts. We were up against some much larger companies with great sites so were so proud to have won. For a small company like us, it is a recognition that we are doing really well, as the battle for online business becomes ever more competitive and creative.”
The UK TravelMole Web Awards are now in their 10th year and reward travel websites that represent best practice in online marketing and websites that demonstrate excellent graphic communication, superb online copy and salesmanship, and the best examples of strategies and techniques for enhanced site conversion. The aim is to use these prestigious awards to reward and promote examples of the best websites in the UK travel industry and to hold them up high as shining examples. In this way, the awards strive to help improve travel websites across the industry as a whole, for all of us.
The stunning Azores archipelago straddles the mid-Atlantic ridge around 950 miles west of Lisbon. These Portuguese islands are a cross between Hawaii and New Zealand but just three and a half hours flight time from the UK.
The nine islands maintain an old world charm that is difficult to find anywhere else in Europe. They benefit from a mild all-year-round climate, spectacular scenery of high craters, boiling pools, subtropical vegetation and cascading waterfalls and not forgetting the friendly people!
Archipelago Choice has been operating since 1998 and specialises in organising tailor-made activity holidays to all nine islands. They offer 140 handpicked places to stay around the islands including converted windmills, basalt cottages and boutique hotels.
There is an ever-increasing range of activities on offer from canyoning to swimming with dolphins, from cycling quiet lanes to walking the crater rims, from sailing to horse riding and much more. The company also specialise in bespoke family holidays, honeymoons and private groups.
In addition, they offer whale and dolphin watching, diving, kayaking (sea and crater lake), mountain biking, jeep tours, birdwatching holidays, geotours, golf and fishing! Something for everyone.
Archipelago Choice is committed to sustainable tourism and supporting environmental projects in the destinations it promotes. In the Azores, the company supports the Azorean Bullfinch and in Cape Verde, Loggerhead turtles. They are a member of AITO and have achieved their 5 star sustainable tourism award. To find out more about what travel companies must do to qualify to be a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators – visit AITO’s Quality charter. http://www.aito.co.uk/corporate_QualityCharter.asp