The awards will recognise the companies that have gone the extra mile

The airline that eases luggage restrictions, the hotel group that democratises design-led luxury, the train company that simplifies fares, the airport that's a joy to fly from or the tour operator that thinks beyond the brochure… which of today's travel providers offer exceptional experiences, deliver great value and deserve celebration?

This summer, The Independent is launching the brand new Travel Awards to recognise those companies that have gone the extra mile to ensure that our journeys are gratifying in an ever-more complex and challenging world. We will be asking you, our passionate and discerning readers, for your nominations across 16 categories: European airline, long-haul airline, train operator, ferry company, international airport, cruise line, travel company (winter sports, beach, adventure), place to stay (luxury, family, budget), destination innovation, travel app and guidebook.

The shortlist will be put to an independent panel of high-profile travellers and industry experts – including adventurer Ben Fogle and Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler – who will select the winners, to be announced at an exclusive ceremony at the Corinthia Hotel London in October.

You will also have the chance to nominate a contender for the Readers' Choice Award, a title that will honour the figure who has done more for travellers than any other, through innovation or inspiration, from 19th-century pioneer Thomas Cook to 21st-century screen globetrotter Michael Palin.