City Cruises founders enter the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame

The founders of City Cruises, Rita and Gary Beckwith, were honoured by the British travel and hospitality industry, when they received the first joint Hall of Fame accolade

The British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame recognises the highest achievers in the tourism and leisure sectors, celebrating individuals who achieve phenomenal business success as well as providing mentorship and inspiration to those around them.

Gary and Rita started their journey with City Cruises in 1989 when they purchased the company and over the last 30 years have built the company’s fleet to be the largest river cruise operator on the River Thames, as well as operating sailings in York and Poole.

Rita and Gary Beckwith commented,

“Our successes are due to the fantastic team at City Cruises and without them the journey that we have been on would not have been possible. We are humbled to be recognised by our peers as the British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame award is so highly regarded in our industry. We have kept each other on the straight and narrow and the partnership that we have built, in work and at home, is one that we are immensely proud of. We became the owners of City Cruises 30 years ago and so to receive this honour in an anniversary year is one that we will continue to celebrate throughout 2019.”

Both renowned and established names in the travel industry Rita Beckwith, OBE, and Gary Beckwith have taken the business from a start-up floating fuel barge to a £21 million turnover company, investing more than £25 million in the fleet and infrastructure setting City Cruises apart and driving the business forward. City Cruises stands at the forefront of investment and innovation – since developing the first GPS-driven multilingual commentary system there has been an ongoing fleet refurbishment and acquisition program cementing its investment in the UK economy and tourism industry.  Technology is also high on the City Cruises agenda.  With ongoing investment in IT systems, the enhancements enjoyed has further propelled and accelerated growth and satisfaction from the world-wide customer base.   This consistent delivery of service has been recognised by the industry.

Since 1997 City Cruises has won at least one industry award every year.  Most recently in 2018, City Cruises was awarded the Best Canal or Riverboat Operator for Groups by Group Travel Awards and Service provider of the year – Transport & Sightseeing by UKInbound.  Gary & Rita were both awarded with the Outstanding Contribution to Group Travel recognising their continued efforts to develop and grow not just group travel but all inbound trade avenues.

Between May – September 2018, City Cruises experienced its best summer trading with passenger numbers increasing by 24% and in 2019 the company will continue to welcome refurbished vessels back into the fleet with City Cruises London re-introducing the new-look Gamma this summer following a ten-month renovation. Investment remains key for City Cruises which led to purchase of a new dedicated events boat, Erasmus, in early 2019 which will become part of City Cruises London fleet this May.

Find out more about City Cruises here