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Tourism stars shine bright

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Tourism businesses across Central, Fife & Tayside and the Lothians and Scottish Borders have received recognition at Scotland’s premier tourism and events awards.  

A total of 25 businesses and individuals received an award at the Scottish Thistle Awards regional finals for Central, Fife & Tayside and Lothian & Borders, which took place last night (Thursday 27 October) atPrestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh. 

The Scottish Thistle Awards are delivered by VisitScotland, sponsored by Johnstons of Elgin and include a media partnership with News Scotland for the first time this year. They celebrate the very best of tourism in Scotland and the excellence that is helping to rebuild this vital part of the Scottish economy in the last two years.  

2022 saw more than 500 entries submitted, including almost 1,000 nominations from members of the public keen to give hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, visitor attractions and individuals the opportunity to earn the recognition they deserve in the part they play in making Scotland such a fantastic place to visit. 

This year’s regional winners include: Crescent House Edinburgh – Boutique B&B for Best B&B or Guest House Experience Lothian & Borders, sponsored by Abbey UK; Newton Farm Holidays & Tours in Angus Best B&B or Guest House Experience Central, Fife & Tayside, sponsored by Abbey UK.

Teuchters Landing

The winner of Best Eatery Experience for Lothian & Borders was Café St Honore in Edinburgh and WeeCOOK Kitchen in Carnoustie for Central, Fife & Tayside.

A Wee Pedal

 The winner of the Best Hotel Experience (over 20 rooms), sponsored by Fishers, was Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian for Lothian & Borders and Murrayshall Country Estate in Scone for Central, Fife & Tayside. The winner of the Best Hotel Experience (under 20 rooms) for Central, Fife & Tayside was The Kirklands Hotel in Kinross. The Best Self Catering Accommodation Experience award for Lothian & Borders went to Old Millhouse in Dalkeith, while Morton of Pitmilly in St Andrews was winner for Central, Fife &Tayside. 

Camera Obscura and World of IllusionsEdinburgh International Festival (EIF)

The winner of the Regional Ambassador award for Lothian and Borders was Emma Chalmers from Mary’sMeanders in West Lothian and Steven Campbell from Discover Clackmannanshire for Central, Fife & Tayside

Tourism & Hospitality Hero

The Working Together for Tourism category, sponsored by Historic Environment Scotland, was awarded to A Toast to Gaia by Edinburgh Science for the Lothian & Borders region. What Would Mary do? By Hostelling Scotland was named winner for the Central, Fife & Tayside region. 

The Scottish Thistle Awards combine regional awards, including the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) and the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA), with a national final.    

The awards champion innovation, collaboration and sustainable practices, in line with the ambitions of the national tourism strategy, Outlook 2030.   

Responsible tourism is at the heart of the refreshed Scottish Thistle Awards, supporting the aim for Scotland to be recognised globally as a leader in this field. As well as a new category celebrating those businesses and events which have embraced responsible tourism, every entry was required to provide clear evidence – covering the last two years - on how their business addresses four key areas of a low carbon economy, inclusivity, thriving communities and Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage. 

Regional winners will now come head-to-head with competition from other tourism businesses and events across Scotland at the National Final taking place in February 2023.   

Steven Walker, Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards industry panel said:“The Scottish Thistle Awards mark an important celebration as we move towards recovery from the pandemic and support the ambition of Outlook 2030, for Scotland to be a world leader in 21st century tourism. “I wish the regional winners the best of luck as they continue to the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final next year.” 

The Scottish Thistle Awards are delivered by VisitScotland, in partnership with Highlands & Islands Tourism  Awards (HITA) and the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA) and supported by a panel of industry representatives.  This year’s sponsors of the Scottish Thistle Awards include headline sponsor, Johnstons of Elgin, Fishers, HIT Scotland, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, Historic Environment Scotland and Abbey UK.  

Regional finals will take place in different locations around Scotland covering areas such as Central Fife and Tayside, Lothian & Borders, West, the Highlands and Islands, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, and Aberdeen City and Shire, which is organised by Aberdeen City and Shire TourismAwards.    

  • The Central, Fife & Tayside Regional Final took place at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh on Thursday 27 October. 
  • The Lothian & Borders Regional Final took place at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh on Thursday27 October. 
  • The Highlands and Islands Regional Final, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards,will take place at the Kingsmill Hotel in Inverness on Friday 4 November.
  • The West Regional Final will take place at Òran Mór, Glasgow, on Thursday 10 November. 
  •  The Aberdeen City and Shire Regional Final, organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, willtake place at the Chester Hotel, Aberdeen, on Friday 11 November.
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Tourism stars shine bright

Local tourism industry stars celebrated at Scottish Thistle Awards

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