The shortlist for the regional finals of the Scottish Thistle Awards has been announced today (18 September) and sees some of the biggest events in Scottish history, world-famous attractions and first-class accommodation providers compete for the coveted regional accolades.
Nominees include The 2014 Ryder Cup, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay organised by Unique Events, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the MTV EMAs, Edinburgh Zoo, Rosslyn Chapel and Knockhill Racing Circuit.
Shortlisted finalists will now battle it out against competition from across five different areas at regional award ceremonies to be held in November.
The Scottish Thistle Awards celebrates excellence, innovation and success within the country’s valuable hospitality and tourism sector. Successful finalists in each category will then go on to represent their respective region in the glittering national Scottish Thistle Award final in March 2016, part of the Signature Programme of Scottish Tourism Week.
2015 saw a record breaking 615 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. Over 60% of businesses were encouraged to enter after being nominated by the public.
Categories, which are aligned with the Scottish Tourism Strategy 2020, include Fishers Cleaning Services Ltd’s Most Hospitable Hotel and Friendliest Pub or Bar, as well as new awards such as ‘Hospitality Hero’ and ‘Tourism – Everyone’s Business’. An ‘Innovation’ category has been introduced this year in anticipation of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016.
Stephen Carter OBE, VisitScotland Board Member and Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel, said:
“It’s been fantastic to see such an overwhelming response from the general public to this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards.
“The Scottish Thistles Awards help celebrate the shining stars of our tourism and hospitality sector and recognise those who strive to offer visitors a truly memorable experience of Scotland.
“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 later this year.”
The Scottish Thistle Awards is led by a panel of industry experts from several organisations including VisitScotland, the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, Wild Scotland, Scotland Food & Drink and the Scottish Licensed Trade Association.
Regional finals will take place in different locations around Scotland covering areas such as Fife and Tayside, Central South East, Central South West, the Highlands and Islands, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards and Aberdeen City and Shire, which will this year be organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards.
The Central South West Regional Final will take place at Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow on Wednesday 4 November 2015.
The Central South East Regional Final will take place at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh on Wednesday 11 November 2015.
The Tayside and Fife Regional Final will take place at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh on Wednesday 11 November 2015.
The Highlands and Islands Regional Final, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, will take place at the New Drumossie Hotel in Inverness on Friday 13 November 2015
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 27 November 2015
For a full list of shortlisted finalists please visit: https://www.scottishthistleawards.co.uk/regional-finalists15/
Full list of regional Scottish Thistle Award categories 2015/2016:
- Fishers Cleaning Services Ltd Most Hospitable Hotel
- Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House
- Best Holiday Accommodation
- Best Informal Eating Experience
- Best Restaurant Experience
- Friendliest Pub/Bar
- Caledonian MacBrayne Best Cultural Event or Festival
- Best Sporting Event
- Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience
- Tourism – Everyone’s Business
- Best Visitor Attraction
- Hospitality Hero
- Regional Young Ambassador
- Regional Ambassador)
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
- 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.
- According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
- 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
Year of Food and Drink 2015
- 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
- Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
- A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
- For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland