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Deadline looms for 30th Scottish Thistle Awards public nominations

The search is on to find the best of the best in Scottish tourism as the Scottish Thistles Awards returns.

Deadline looms for 30th Scottish Thistle Awards public nominations

Article Source: VisitScotland
Last Updated: 25 March 2024 18:29

Image Credit: Connor Mollison Photography

People across the country have just a few more days left to nominate businesses, individuals and events they think are deserving of recognition in the world of tourism and events.

The Scottish Thistle Awards have helped shine a spotlight on individual businesses, people and partnership working. They have become an annual celebration of excellence, collaboration and innovation within one of the country’s most important sectors.

Delivered by VisitScotland in partnership with regional awards programmes, the Scottish Thistle Awards combines five regional awards and a national final.

Last year, there were around 1200 nominations and more than 600 entries, culminating in the crowning of 17 national winners at a ceremony in Glasgow in December.

Winners included:

• The Burrell Collection in Glasgow who took home the Best Visitor Attraction Award, sponsored by the Scottish Sun.
• The Cross Keys Inn in Ettrickbridge in the Scottish Borders was named as the Best Pub or Bar.
• Nithbank Country Estate in Dumfries & Galloway received the Best B&B or Guest House Experience title, sponsored by Abbey UK. Meanwhile its proprietor Melanie Allen took home the Tourism Individual of the Year award, sponsored by HIT Scotland, in recognition of the positive impact she has made on the visitor experience at a regional and national level in Scotland.
• Edinbane Lodge on the Isle of Skye, winner of the Best Eating Experience award.
• Cromlix in Dunblane, winner of the Best Hotel Experience award, sponsored by Fishers.
• Glasgow Science Centre won the Inclusive Tourism category, sponsored by Historic Environment Scotland.
• Airhouses in the Scottish Borders received the Best Luxury Experience award, sponsored by The Macallan Estate.
• The Genesis Scottish Open which took place at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick in 2022 received the award for Outstanding Sporting Event.
• Nearby festival Fringe by the Sea was crowned Outstanding Cultural Event or Festival.
• Arden Holiday Cottage in Dumfries & Galloway won the Best Self Catering Accommodation Experience
• Wilderness Scotland based in Aviemore took home two awards, the inaugural Climate Action Award, sponsored by The Times, and the Best Outdoor or Adventure Experience.
• Camera Obscura & the World of Illusions in Edinburgh won the Innovation in Tourism award.

While businesses and events must formally enter from 18 March to be eligible for a Scottish Thistle Awards, the nomination process allows members of the public to show appreciation to those they think deserve some extra recognition.

Nominations for the 2024 Scottish Thistle Awards, with headline sponsors Johnstons of Elgin, close on 31 March.

Steven Walker, Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry panel said: “The Scottish Thistle Awards are a great way to recognise those who work so passionately to make Scotland such a fantastic place to visit and stay.

“Before our entries open next week, this is your chance to nominate your tourism heroes and give them your vote of confidence to enter the 30th Scottish Thistle Awards.

“Once you’ve made your free nomination, we’ll let those lucky nominees know so they can officially enter and be in with a chance of winning a coveted Scottish Thistle Award.”


2024 sees the introduction of a new Rising Star Award. Sponsored by HIT Scotland, the award aims to recognise the achievements of individuals that are at the start if their career within the tourism and hospitality industry.

Regional winners for Central, East and the West will be announced at two regional finals delivered by VisitScotland in September.

Winners from all five regional awards, which also include the Highlands and Islands Thistle Awards (HITA) the Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards (ACSTA) and the South of Scotland Thistle Awards (delivered in partnership with the South of Scotland Destination Alliance and supported by South of Scotland Enterprise) go on to compete at the Scottish Thistle Award national ceremony in November.

For more information and to make a nomination in the Scottish Thistle Awards, visit: www.scottishthistleawards.co.uk

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