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The Final Countdown

Press Release   •   Mar 01, 2017 10:58 GMT

Gymnast Pavel Karnejenko starts the countdown to the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final with hosts Dougie Vipond and Jennifer Reoch.

One of Glasgow’s rising stars in gymnastics has started the countdown to Scottish tourism’s Oscars – with a little help from hosts Dougie Vipond and Jennifer Reoch.

Pavel Karnejenko (17), who attends City of Glasgow Gymnastics Club at Bellahouston Leisure Centre, showcased some of the dynamic moves which have seen him called up to the Scotland and Great Britain squads.

The teenager was among the thousands of spectators who witnessed GB pick up their first ever world Team medals at the Glasgow 2015 FIG World Gymnastics Championships.

That event is one of five in the running for the coveted Event Connect - Best Sporting Event award at the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final on 16 March 2017.

It faces tough competition from Braemar Gathering, FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 Blair Castle, Etape Loch Ness Cycle Sportive and Edinburgh Marathon Festival.

TV presenter and Deacon Blue drummer, Dougie Vipond, and presenter and former Miss Scotland, Jennifer Reoch, will announce the winner of that category and 13 others at the glittering ceremony held in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The hosts will be joined by comedian Des Clarke and Scottish band, Prides, who will provide the evening’s entertainment.

The 2016/2017 Scottish Thistle Awards, in association with Fishers, recognises hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, visitor attractions and individuals who go the extra mile to provide customers with exceptional service, and takes place during Scottish Tourism Week.

Awards which will be handed out on the night include, Best Cultural Event or Festival, Most Hospitable Hotel, Best Restaurant Experience, Best Visitor Attraction and Tourism & Hospitality Hero.

This year saw a record number of entries for the Scottish Thistle Awards. Regional finals were held in November where winners were selected from each of the five Scottish regions to go on to the national final.

Rebecca Brooks, Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel, said:

“The Scottish Thistle Awards National Final celebrates the fantastic achievements and innovations of our tourism and hospitality sector which continues to deliver a world-class visitor experience.

“We’re delighted that Dougie and Jennifer will be joining us as we reveal the stars of Scottish tourism and with entertainment from Prides and Des it looks set to be a memorable night.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience. It creates jobs and sustains communities in every corner of Scotland all year round and is at the heart of the Scottish economy.

“Good luck to all of the finalists. Whatever the outcome, they should be proud of their achievements in reaching the National Final and we look forward to celebrating with them.”

Scott Inglis, Commercial Director at Fishers, said:

“At Fishers we don’t just think of ourselves as a laundry company, we are an important part of Scotland’s tourism sector and we are proud that we are able to show our support for the Scottish Thistle Awards.

“The awards are a fantastic way to celebrate the hard work that goes into making tourism a success in Scotland. This year’s finalists are all outstanding and we wish them the best of luck at the National final.”

The flagship tourism awards are led by 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.

The regional finals were: Central, Fife & Tayside; Lothians & Borders; West; Highlands and Islands, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards; and Aberdeen City and Shire, organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards.

The 14 Scottish Tourism categories are:

  • Event Connect - Best Sporting Event
  • Caledonian MacBrayne - Best Cultural Event or Festival
  • Fishers - Most Hospitable Hotel
  • ARRAN, Sense of Scotland - Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House
  • Best Accommodation Provider
  • J Thomson Colour Printers - Best Restaurant Experience
  • Best Informal Eating Experience
  • Friendliest Pub/Bar
  • Best Outdoor/Adventure
  • ScotRail - Best Visitor Attraction
  • Braehead Foods - Tourism & Hospitality Hero
  • Edinburgh Airport - Working Together For Tourism
  • Scotland Can Do Award for Innovation In Tourism
  • Caledonian MacBrayne Silver Thistle Award

For more on the Scottish Thistle Awards, go to

- ENDS -

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