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Pick of the bunch

Press release   •   Sep 29, 2017 10:32 BST

Andy Murray's Cromlix is among the Scottish Thistle Award regional nominees

A new multi-million pound Perthshire attraction, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, Andy Murray’s hotel, the ancestral home of Sir Walter Scott and The 145th Open at Royal Troon are among those shortlisted for top tourism awards, as the Scottish Thistle Awards celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The shortlist for the regional finals of the 2017/2018 Scottish Thistle Awards, in association with Fishers, has been announced, and sees some of the country’s biggest events, world-famous attractions and first-class accommodation providers compete for the coveted regional accolades.

Nominees include SSE Pitlochry Dam, StAnza, Cromlix, Abbotsford. The 145th Open at Royal Troon, The Enchanted Forest, Blair Drummond Safari, Rosslyn Chapel and Cameron House on Loch Lomond.

Shortlisted finalists will now battle it out against competition from across five different areas at regional award ceremonies to be held in October and November.

This year marks the ‘silver’ anniversary for the prestigious competition, which celebrates success, innovation, excellence and best practice in the country’s tourism and hospitality industry. Over the past 25 years, the Scottish Thistle Award has crowned more than 350 national winners.

2017 saw a record-breaking 734 entries submitted, including hundreds of nominations from members of the public keen to recognise hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, visitor attractions and individuals who go the extra mile to provide customers with exceptional service.

Rebecca Brooks, Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel, said: “It’s fantastic that in this special anniversary year, we’ve had such an overwhelming response to this year’s competition. These awards aim to find the crème de la crème of Scotland’s tourism industry, to recognise the shining lights who have shown real commitment and dedication to the industry.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience, it creates jobs and sustains communities. The Scottish Thistle Awards is a chance for us to celebrate those who work tirelessly to ensure that all visitors, whether from Scotland or further afield, enjoy a truly memorable experience.

“From the sheer volume and calibre of entries, it is clear that this year’s competition will be the fiercest yet and on behalf of the panel I’d like to congratulate all the shortlisted entrants and wish each and every one of them the very best of the luck at the regional finals.”

The Scottish Thistle Awards is led by a panel of industry experts from several organisations including VisitScotland, Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, sportscotland and Wild Scotland.

Regional finals will take place in different locations around Scotland covering areas such as Central Fife and Tayside, Lothian & Borders, West, the Highlands and Islands, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, and Aberdeen City and Shire, which is organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards.

  • The West Regional Final will take place at Glasgow Science Centre on Thursday 26 October 2017
  • The Highlands and Islands Regional Final, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, will take place at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness on Friday 3 November 2017
  • The Lothian & Borders Regional Final will take place at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh on Thursday 23 November 2017
  • The Central, Fife & Tayside Regional Final will take place at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh on Thursday 23 November 2017
  • The Aberdeen City and Shire Regional Final, organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, will take place at the Ardoe House Hotel and Spa on Friday 24 November 2017
  • Regional finalists will battle it out across 16 different categories including Fishers - Most Hospitable Hotel, Best Pub/Bar, Best Visitor Attraction and Tourism Hospitality Hero. In celebration of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, the new award Historic Environment Scotland – Best Heritage Tourism Experience will honour those who excel in bringing to life Scotland’s rich history, heritage and traditions.

    The full 16 regional categories are:

  • Fishers - Most Hospitable Hotel
  • Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House
  • Best Accommodation Provider
  • Historic Environment Scotland – Best Heritage Tourism Experience
  • Innovation in Tourism
  • Best Informal Eating Experience
  • Best Restaurant Experience
  • Best Pub/Bar
  • Regional Ambassador
  • Caledonian MacBrayne - Best Cultural Event or Festival
  • Best Sporting Event
  • Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience
  • HIT Scotland Regional Rising Star
  • Working Together for Tourism
  • ScotRail - Best Visitor Attraction
  • Tourism & Hospitality Hero
  • For a full list of shortlisted finalists please visit:

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    • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
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