A CIRENCESTER-BASED travel company has earned global recognition after being named as one of the best specialist tour operators in the world.

Steppes Travel - based in Castle Street, Cirencester - ranked fifth in the specialist tour operator category in the 2023 Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards list.

Condé Nast Traveler is a luxury and lifestyle travel magazine published by mass media company Condé Nast which also owns brands such as Vogue, The New Yorker, GQ and Vanity Fair.

These awards seek to celebrate industry leaders who create lasting memories and deliver superior experiences for their clients.

Staff at the Cirencester tour operator have been creating tailor-made luxury travel experiences for clients for more than 30 years and are 'delighted' to receive this global recognition.

Justin Wateridge, managing director of Steppes Travel, said: “This is major recognition and we’re obviously delighted.

"We always say that our secret sauce is our people; our people are our brilliance. 

"The last few years have been difficult for travel and to emerge as we have is predominately down to them and their knowledge, their care and their passion for our business and the world it presents. 

"My thanks go to them.

"However, such recognition would not be achieved without the support of our fantastic clients, many of whom travel with us year on year, always seeking new experiences, new destinations and new horizons. 

"We are extremely grateful to them, for their trust and support are the licence by which we operate. 

"We don’t think of them as merely clients, they are friends.

"They are family; liking and supporting what we do, urging us to be better.

"They help us to achieve our goal, to make the world a better place through travel.”