Follow VisitScotland

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 https://www.scottishthistleawards.co.uk

- ENDS -

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:
    1. 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
    2. 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
    3. 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
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. 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
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • 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)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
    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