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Winner Best Specialist Tour OperatorAITO Tour Operator of The Year 2019 - Bronze Award20th year anniversary


We are delighted to have been presented with numerous awards over the years, voted for by our valued customers.

The awards below are based on customer reviews or voted for by customers, which gives them all the more merit in our humble opinion. Many thanks if you were among those who gave their support.


The Telegraph Travel Awards 2023: Best Specialist Tour Operator

For the second year, the McKinlay Kidd team were awarded Best Specialist Tour Operator. Some 27,000 readers voted overall, with the award decided based on their opinions not the number of votes. We want to thank our customers who took the time to put us forward for such an acclaimed award, as well as our business partners who play such an important role in delivering our fantastic holidays.

Telegraph Travel: Best Specialist Tour Operator 2017

McKinlay Kidd was awarded the title of Best Specialist Tour Operator in December 2017’s prestigious and long-standing Telegraph Travel Awards in London. The award is based on the opinions of nearly 90,000 voters who cast their ballots over the course of a few months.

Against the odds, McKinlay Kidd overcame competition from larger tour operators, as well as those offering holidays to far-flung overseas locations. Our director Robert was on hand to receive this enormous accolade.

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all of our customers who voted for us.

AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators): Tour Operator of the Year 2023 (Gold), 2019 (Bronze), 2018 (Bronze) and 2016 (Gold)

In February 2017 at an awards ceremony in London, McKinlay Kidd was presented with the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) Gold Award as Tour Operator of the Year 2016, beating off strong competition from over 100 other specialist travel companies. We were delighted to be awarded again by AITO in both 2019 and 2018 – each time with the ‘Bronze’ award for Tour Operator of the Year. We have also recently received the ‘Gold’ award for Tour Operator of the Year 2023.

The AITO annual awards are judged on independent customer reviews posted on As an umbrella organisation, AITO demands a strong focus on quality and customer service from all members: to come out on top is a high accolade and requires exceptional reviews. McKinlay Kidd was consistently rated as “excellent”.

At McKinlay Kidd, our mission is to deliver brilliant holidays with a personal touch for our customers. Because we focus on Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales and The Channel Islands as holiday destinations, we challenge ourselves to achieve this whatever the weather. The award is recognition for the hard work and dedication of the team in the office and we share it with our many business partners, whom we rely on to match our own standards of attention to detail and exceptional service.

Guardian/Observer Travel Awards winner

Guardian/Observer: Best Small Tour Operator 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014

In 2011, we were rather stunned and certainly delighted to be awarded the accolade of “Best Small Tour Operator” in the prestigious Guardian/Observer Travel Awards. Then we won again in 2012. And 2013. And 2014. As far as we know, no company before has achieved this four times in-a-row. The award means so much to McKinlay Kidd, particularly because it is voted for by customers who have taken holidays with us.

So what happened in 2015, you might ask? Well, as is their right, The Guardian/ Observer chose to change the format and categories for the awards, introducing a new category of Best Package Operator. We didn’t win this time but then we don’t sell package holidays – everything we do is tailor-made. No sour grapes, but we do like to think that we are the undefeated, reigning champions as Best Small Tour Operator.

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