One of the biggest events in golf, the ‘best ever’ Commonwealth Games, Scotland’s world-famous New Year festival and a star-studded music awards show are among those in the running for a top tourism award.
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 VMAs, 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 North East & Tayside 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/