Silver Travel Advisor has unveiled the shortlist for its 2020 awards after receiving a record 225,000 votes from members of the public.

The votes for the Silver Travel Awards were cast between March and May, with the total number 60% higher than in 2019. The winners will be announced at a virtual event hosted at The Wallace Collection in London by Gyles Brandreth on September 15.

New categories for 2020 include Best UK Breaks Operator, Best UK Town or Resort and Best Travel Deals Website.

Debbie Marshall, founder and managing director of Silver Travel Advisor, said: “To see voting in the Silver Travel Awards at this record-breaking level while the travel industry has been facing great challenges illustrates that older people are not only thinking about travel, but are keen to recognise the companies that have served them well over the last 12 months, especially those that have really gone the extra mile for them in recent times.’’

She added: “Travel remains the number one priority for many older people, despite the addition of coronavirus to our vocabulary this year.   Our recent survey of over-50s found that 81% are keen to travel again.  As we begin to take tentative steps out of lockdown, it is natural that holidays at home are gaining the greatest traction and our two new UK awards very much chime with this interest in staycations.”

The shortlists

Best Adventure or Activity Tour Operator

Ramblers Walking Holidays, Inghams Lakes & Mountains, Explore, Intrepid Travel, HF Holidays, G Adventures

Best Cultural Tour Operator

Cox & Kings, Titan Travel, Travel Editions, Audley Travel, Jules Verne, Travel for the Arts

Best City Breaks Tour Operator

Saga Holidays, Alfa Travel, Kuoni, TUI, Riviera Travel, Kirker

Best Self-Catering Travel Company

Forest Holidays, Hoseasons, Eurocamp, Holiday Property Bond, Original Cottages, Pierre & Vacances

Best Villa Holiday Company

Villa Plus, Sunvil, Simpson Travel, CV Villas, James Villas, Vintage Travel

Best Destination Specialist Company

Frontier Travel, Wendy Wu Tours, Discover Egypt & Jordan, Tropical Sky, Serenity Holidays, Selective Asia

Best Ocean Cruise Line

P&O Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Royal Caribbean, Saga Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, NCL

Best Premium or Luxury Ocean Cruise Line

Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea, Viking, Cunard, Princess Cruises

Best Specialist Cruise Line

Star Clippers, Hurtigruten, Variety Cruises, Azamara, Noble Caledonia,  Hebridean Island Cruises

Best River Cruise Line

Riviera Travel, Emerald Waterways, Saga Cruises, CroisiEurope, Fred. Olsen River Cruises, Titan Travel

Best Luxury River Cruise Line

Uniworld, Viking, AmaWaterways, APT Travel, Scenic, Avalon Waterways

Best Escorted Coach Tour Operator

Travel Department, Travelsphere, Cosmos, Saga Holidays, Titan Travel, Riviera Travel

Best Luxury Tour Operator

Travel Editions, Scenic, APT Travel, First Class Holidays, Cox & King, G Adventures – National Geographic

Best Rail Holiday Company

Switzerland Travel Centre, Railbookers, Rocky Mountaineer, Belmond Orient Express, Great Rail Journeys, Ffestiniog Railways

Best Accessible Travel Provider

Enable Holidays, Revitalise, Limitless Travel, Dementia Adventure, Saga Holidays, Driving Miss Daisy

Best Car Rental Company

Europcar, Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Enterprise, Alamo

Best UK Breaks Operator

Forest Holidays, Warner Leisure Hotels, HF Holidays, Saga Holidays, Alfa Travel, Just Go Holidays

Best Operator for the Single Traveller

Travel One, Solos Holidays, One Traveller, HF Holidays, Just You, Saga Holidays

Best Travel Deals Website

Expedia, Travelzoo, Travel Supermarket, Ice Lolly, Last, Secret Escapes

Best UK Town or Resort

Edinburgh, St Ives, Bath, Bournemouth, York, London

Best Overseas Destination

New Zealand, Spain, Greece, Italy, Canada, Australia

Best Travel Agency

Barrhead Travel, Tui, Co-operative Travel, Hays Travel, Iglu, Trailfinders.

Marshall added: “For the second time, the 2020 Silver Travel Awards will see an award go to the Best Travel Agency.  We are especially pleased to be able to acknowledge all the travel agents who made the shortlist this year – we know how hard they are working, especially over the last three months, and the high levels of voting for this category proves how much the travelling public value their professionalism.”

She added: “We are looking forward to announcing the winners of the 2020 Silver Travel Awards in a new, virtual way on Tuesday, September 15.

“Like so much this year, it’s going to be a bit different, but we have some surprises in store to make it an enjoyable and entertaining event.  All you’ll need to do is to add your own glass of fizz!”