Tours & Travel: Britain's best tour operators 2013

Which are the best tour operators in Britain? According to Which?’s and the Telegraph’s travel magazines, Trailfinders is the best operator in the country. Trailfinders emerged top of a list of best tour operators 2013 as voted for by the readers of both magazines. If you have had the opportunity to book a holiday with Trailfinders, this announcement doesn't come as a surprise.

Trailfinders travel operator

Trailfinders was established almost 40 years ago by Mike Gooley. The company was initially only an overland tour operator serving a vibrant new generation of young travelers. Now Trailfinders has shops spread all across Britain and Ireland and sells everything travel-related from tailor-made holiday packages to long-haul travel flights, including value holidays to USA, Australia and Asia.

The tours operator has built up a solid reputation over the years for the best blend of destination knowledge, insider connections, consumer advocacy and value for your money. Trailfinders was also voted the best operator by more than 17,000 readers of Telegraph travel’s magazine and awarded this year’s top Telegraph annual Travel Award early in November, 2013.

Nick Trend, Telegraph Travel’s Consumer Editor explained: “In the parlance of the time, Trailfinders was Britain’s first bucket shop – a travel agent where you could buy discounted long-haul tickets, getting around the rules that set minimum airfares.”

“But, while bucket shops in general gave travel agents a bad name, often collapsing and taking their customers’ money with them, Gooley prospered by offering excellent value combined with a reputation for good service.”

Trailfinders scored a top five-star rating for ease of booking and customer service, and four stars in each of the five other categories in the Which? list of best tour operators 2013. In total, Trailfinders scooped 92% of available points in Which?'s survey of nearly 6,000 holidaymakers.

The company finished ahead of Inntravel, Princess Cruises and Exodus travel operators in the Which? list.

Other leading tour operators in Britain

Inntravel, a popular activity holiday company, scored 89% on the Which? list of best tour operators 2013, while Archers, Exodus, Holidays and Princess Cruises were tied for third on 88%. Also, scoring highly and cementing its place among best tour operators in the country was Riviera Travel. Last year Riviera Travel was voted best escorted tour operator in 2012 by Telegraph Travel. Audley Travel, HF Holidays, Fred Olsen Cruises and Voyages Jules Verne completed the top ten best operators in this year’s Which? list.

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