Scottish companies have dominated a prestigious tourism awards ceremony, with 31 businesses scooping gongs in Glasgow.
VisitScotland has praised the winners of the 2017 CIE Tours Awards of Excellence, which are based entirely on feedback from 14,000 customers who experienced 250 providers of accommodation, dining, tours and attractions throughout the UK. Awards were given to those providers achieving an average customer satisfaction rating of 90 per cent or more.
A total of 56 CIE Awards were presented at the Hotel du Vin Devonshire on the eve of VisitScotland Expo 2017, the country’s flagship travel show. The Scottish winners included Norton House Hotel & Spa and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which were presented with the awards for Best Overall Hotel and Best Special Event respectively. Apex Grassmarket Hotel, Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club and Macdonald Holyrood Hotel also won Hotel Awards of Excellence while Palace of Holyrood and Edinburgh Castle won Visit Awards for Excellence.
CIE Tours International, which was named Scotland’s Heritage International Operator of the Year 2017, saw a 10 per cent rise in bookings in UK tours on the previous year, increasing the number of visitors the Irish operator brought to the UK to 14,000.
In 2016, the company took visitors to 175 attractions and 75 hotels across the UK, paying a total of £10 million to its UK suppliers. A total of 13,000 of CIE’s guests visited Scotland as part of their tour.
CIE Tours launched its UK customer satisfaction awards in 2013. Since then, the numbers of venue and attraction winners achieving a higher than 90 per cent satisfaction rating in the UK, has grown from 32 to 56. As a result, CIE introduced its “Gold” award that recognises the top-rated supplier in each of the 11 categories including Best Accommodation and Best Overall Tour Feature.
Elizabeth Crabill, Chief Executive Officer of CIE Tours International, said: “The vast majority of our visitors to the UK – around 13,000 guests in 2016 – visit Scotland during their tours and we are pleased to award these partners that have developed a notably excellent customer experience in Scotland with more than half of our Gold and Merit Awards this year being made to Scottish hotels and attractions.
“We anticipate that demand for our Scotland tours will grow significantly in 2017, demonstrating the significance and growing appeal of Scotland’s heritage and quality customer experience. However, our challenge can be finding the right accommodation at the right price in some locations, where hotel prices threaten competitiveness and potential growth.”
Malcolm Roughead,Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “I would like to congratulate all the hotels and attractions winning these prestigious awards. It is great to see the warm welcome and excellent service provided to our overseas guests being recognised by a company such as CIE Tours, which is making an important contribution to Scotland’s visitor economy.”
For more information about CIE Tours, go to www.cietours.com
Best Overall Hotel Norton House Hotel & Spa
Best Overall Hotel Accommodation The Stratford Hotel
Best Overall Hotel Service and Hospitality Atholl Palace Hotel
Best Overall Walking Tour Windsor Tourist Guides Ltd
Best Overall Feature Working Sheepdogs
Best Special Event The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Best Overall Castle Experience Glamis Castle
Best Overall Loch Cruise Jacobite Cruise
Best Overall Visitor Attraction Tower Of London
Best Overall Dinner & Entertainment Welsh Banquet at Cardiff Castle
Best Overall Heritage Site Stonehenge
Hotel Awards of Excellence
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club
Marriott Kensington Hotel
Macdonald Holyrood Hotel
Macdonald Windsor Hotel
Radisson Blu Hotel
The Westerwood Hotel
Visit Awards of Excellence
Palace of Holyroodhouse
St Davids Cathedral
Eilean Donan Castle
The Lovespoon Workshop
National Slate Museum
St Magnus Cathedral
Ring of Brodgar
Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre
St Paul's Cathedral
Blair Athol Distillery
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
- The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh) 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
- 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017