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Tourism businesses across the West of Scotland have received recognition at Scotland’s premier tourism and events awards.
A total of 13 businesses and individuals received an award at the Scottish Thistle Awards regional finals for the West, which took place last night (Thursday 10 November) at Òran Mór in Glasgow.
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: Queensberry House in Moffat, Dumfries & Galloway for Best B&B or Guest House Experience, sponsored by Abbey UK; The Ormidale – Isle of Arran for Best Bar or Pub, sponsored by the Scottish Licensed Trade Association. The winner of Best Eatery Experience was The Ship Inn & No1 Fleet Street Restaurant in Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway, and Kitchen Coos & Ewes in Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway, was awarded the Best Outdoor or Adventure Experience award.
The winner of the Best Hotel Experience (over 20 rooms), sponsored by Fishers, was Auchrannie Resort on the Isle of Arran, and The Ship Inn Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries & Galloway received the Best Hotel Experience (under 20 rooms) award. The Best Self Catering Accommodation Experience award went to Loch Ken Eco Bothies, while Devil’s Porridge Museum in Eastriggs, Dumfries & Galloway, received the Best Visitor Attraction Experience award.
The winner of the Food Tourism Award, sponsored by J Thomson Colour Printers, was Once Upon a Whisky in Glasgow, while Glasgow Life: Celtic Connections won the Outstanding Cultural Event or Festival category.
The winner of the Regional Ambassador award for the West was Fiona Campbell from the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers. She was announced alongside Tourism & Hospitality Hero Lee Medd from Annandale Distillery, which is sponsored by HIT Scotland.
The Working Together for Tourism category, sponsored by Historic Environment Scotland, was awarded to Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.
The Scottish Thistle Awards, with headline sponsor Johnstons of Elgin, 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, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, HIT Scotland, 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 Tourism Awards.
Local tourism industry stars celebrated at Scottish Thistle Awards