Blue sky thinking: nominations open soon / Getty

This summer, The Independent is launching its own travel awards to recognise 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 … which of today's travel providers offer exceptional experiences, deliver great value and deserve celebration?

We will be asking you for 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 travel guidebook.

An independent panel of industry experts – including TV presenter Ben Fogle and Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler – will select the winners, to be announced at a ceremony at the Corinthia Hotel, London, in October.

You will also have the chance to nominate a contender for the Readers' Choice Award, honouring the figure who, throughout history, has done more for travellers than any other, from 19th-century pioneer Thomas Cook to 21st-century globetrotter Michael Palin. Stay tuned: we will be seeking your nominations very soon.