GTA Logo 2014

Keep Smiling Through has never rung so true as for IOW Tours, a Group Travel Company & Tour Operator based in Lake on the Isle of Wight. With a traumatic start to this year with the untimely loss of co-director and Transport Manager Mark Lewis, spirits are once again being lifted following recognition at a prestigious Travel Industry Awards.

With a glittering gala dinner held at the Hilton Park Lane, IOW Tours were voted runners-up for Best UK Group Tour Operator, presented to them by Hal Cruttenden, stand-up Comedian of BBC’s Have I Got News for You and Mock the Week fame.

The awards are voted for by the Industry and Group Organisers and are open to anyone that is involved in the group travel market.

The driving force of IOW Tours is Islander Shirley Winn. From selling tickets to day-trippers at the end of Ryde Pier, she is now Managing Director & Owner of IOW Tours, building the company to be the National Group Tour Operator it is, offering holidays and events for groups across Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and anywhere in Europe you can reach by coach. With 22 employees and significant investment in coaches, software and staff during the recession, IOW Tours is riding high and seeing success in securing nationwide event contracts and increases in passenger numbers, particularly with their off-Island brand go WightAway.

Passionate to Shirley is the ex-Servicemen’s Reunions she has championed within the company; this market is now firmly embedded in the naval traditions of meeting up with fellow past servicemen & women for an annual reunion for over 130 associations – Pusser’s Rum in her hand!

Dedicating this award to her long-time business partner Mark and to her team, Shirley said, “We are a family and Isle of Wight Tours is proud of that. We spend so much of our time with each other, and with our customers, that we just become one family, we share our ‘own time’ together – something valued by us all. And we are a hard working family at that!”

In recent years IOW Tours have supplied coaches to the 2012 London Olympics, launched go WightAway, offering value-for-money coach trips for Islanders, organised the 30th anniversary commemorations for the servicemen of the Falklands, complete with RAF aircraft flypast streamed live on BBC News 24, hired-out Disneyland Paris and assisted in the decommissioning of the carrier HMS Illustrious. IOW Tours stages the ‘cup final’ for the English Petanque Association every year, and works with groups to organise and deliver their holidays and events with customers from across the UK and in France, the Channel Islands and in Germany.



For further details contact:

Geoff Holt – IOW Tours Sales Manager

01983 405116