2022 Categories

Click on one of the categories below to find out more about the entry requirements.

Deadline Extended - Entries close at midnight on Sunday 19 June 22

There are categories for business, tourism groups and individuals operating at all levels of the north-east tourism industry. Our categories are aligned with the Scottish Thistle Awards scheme, with many regional winners going on to represent the area on the national stage.

In addition to these categories there are four national awards- more information here.

 

Outstanding Cultural Event or Festival

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Scotland is the Perfect Stage for events.  Despite being one of the most strongly impacted sectors by the Covid19 pandemic, the events and festivals sector has shown impressive resilience, innovation and has continued to deliver excellent experiences in line with ever-changing restrictions.  From large scale international events to local and community festivals, Scotland has a rich annual programme of events and festivals and each makes an important contribution to our thriving communities and cities.

This category aims to celebrate and recognise outstanding cultural events/festivals delivered during the pandemic that are part of our tourism offering.  Entries are sought from events/festivals that can demonstrate exceptional resilience, innovation and the delivery of excellent live, online or hybrid experiences, in spite of the challenges encountered over the past 2 years. Eligible event editions will have been delivered between September 2020 to May 2022.  For annual or recurring events, it is the most recent edition that is eligible.

Best Bar or Pub

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This award celebrates the key role of bars and pubs as part of the Scottish visitor experience. Our licensed trade provides visitors with a wide variety of options - from bespoke evening cocktails with succulent bar bites overlooking a vibrant cityscape, to a relaxing post walk pint served with traditional fayre by the fire.

Whether your business attracts high fashion, cutting edge musicians/DJs or offers a comforting and friendly home from home to your guests, we are celebrating the diverse bar and pub offerings and all that they contribute within the tourism sector.

Best Hotel Experience (under 20 rooms)

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Accommodation is a vital part of the visitor journey. The hotel experience is key to creating visitors' lasting impressions of Scotland and our world-famous Scottish hospitality. This award recognises hotels that strive to provide customers with the most hospitable and comfortable experience while they enjoy their stay in Scotland.

Best Hotel Experience (over 20 rooms)

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Accommodation is a vital part of the visitor journey. The hotel experience is key to creating visitors' lasting impressions of Scotland and our world-famous Scottish hospitality. This award recognises hotels that strive to provide customers with the most hospitable and comfortable experience while they enjoy their stay in Scotland.

Food Tourism Award

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“Food tourism includes any tourism experience in which a person learns about and/or consumes food and drink that reflects the local cuisine, heritage, or culture of a place, including the active pursuit of unique and memorable eating, drinking, and agritourism experiences” - National Food Tourism Board

This category is designed to recognise and celebrate those businesses providing visitors with a unique and memorable tourism experience centred around food and drink.

Unique tasting experiences, from food tours and markets, to glamping with a strong food offering, agritourism enterprises, cookery schools, distilleries and breweries, farm shops and more, Scotland has an abundance of businesses delivering high-quality, memorable food and drink experiences.

Who should enter?

Any business that considers their main activity to be providing customers with a unique, memorable experience centred around Scottish food and drink.

Best Eatery Experience

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In Scotland there are eateries to suit every occasion and budget. This category is designed to recognise and celebrate restaurants and eateries that provide an exceptional customer experience and a quality food and drink offering, promoting local Scottish produce. Fantastic food and hospitality are the focus!

Who should enter?

Open to restaurants and eateries of any style, size and culinary influence to suit every occasion and budget. The award is for establishments that showcase the finest examples of Scottish produce on the menus alongside excellent service and customer experience.

Best Outdoor or Adventure Experience

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Outdoor, adventure and wildlife experiences are a key part of what makes a visit to Scotland so unique and memorable.  With a vast and varied landscape full of opportunity for adventure and excitement, there truly is an activity for every visitor. This category celebrates businesses that provide unforgettable, quality and authentic experiences to their visitors who engage with the landscape and local communities in a positive and environmentally sensitive way.

Best Self-Catering Accommodation Experience

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This category celebrates businesses that provide fantastic and genuine emotional engagement with the visitor, whether online or in person, and an exceptional service. This award celebrates those providing a unique and bespoke accommodation experience to suit visitors' travel style, while ensuring true Scottish hospitality is at the forefront of the offering.

Best Visitor Attraction Experience

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Scotland has a wealth of unique and fascinating visitor attractions, from castles and palaces to nuclear bunkers and famous pandas! This category celebrates the variety of opportunity provided to Scotland's visitors, and the attractions which provide world class service with a distinctive Scottish twist.

Best B&B or Guest House Experience

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B&Bs and guest houses are at the front line of Scotland’s hospitality reputation and can provide a personal and memorable experience for every guest. This category celebrates going the extra mile to demonstrate heart-warming levels of customer service to every guest who steps through the door.

Regional Ambassador

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The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted just how resilient, resourceful and united our industry is.

People are the essence of the tourism and hospitality sector and we all have a responsibility in shaping the future of our industry. People, with their commitment and passion for the industry, have been the critical success factor in seeing through the last 24 months.

This award is looking to recognise these qualities in an individual who has dedicated their time and energy to advocate for their sector or local area/community during this unprecedented time with a clear passion for the future of the industry.

Who should enter?

Entrants for this award should fit the following criteria:

  • A tourism industry professional employed anywhere within/relating to the Scottish tourism or hospitality industry
  • An advocate for industry – this could be in a variety of ways; examples may include raising government awareness, lobbying or by way of community engagement
  • Has shown leadership during Covid-19 – within and outwith their business/employment
  • Has dedicated time and energy to benefiting/supporting their local area and local community during Covid-19

If you know someone who deserves to be recognised for their contribution to the industry, nominate them now!

Please note there is no self-entry for this category.

Tourism & Hospitality Hero

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The Covid-19 pandemic has meant big changes in the way businesses and individuals are working, with resilience, resourcefulness and kindness being seen at the forefront of the Scottish tourism and hospitality industry over the past 24 months.

For many, ‘work’ no longer referred to their daily role and tasks as they once knew it to and instead took on another meaning, through voluntary work in the community for example; for others, the way in which they carried out their work was very different, and saw them faced with new challenges and processes, yet embraced it all.

This award aims to highlight and celebrate those individuals – Scotland’s unsung heroes. It celebrates those on the front line of the customer service experience who have gone that extra mile for the benefit of others during an unprecedented time, whether that be customers, colleagues or the local community/area.

Who should enter?

This category is open to anyone employed on the frontline of the Scottish tourism and hospitality industry – from housekeeping staff and receptionists, to front of house staff, tour guides and drivers – who has gone above and beyond, striving to make their workplace, community and/or local area a better place for everyone, even if their contribution took place whilst they were away from the frontline (while on furlough for example).

If you know someone who deserves to be recognised for their contribution to the industry, nominate them now!

Please note there is no self-entry for this category.

Working Together for Tourism

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The Covid-19 pandemic has meant big changes in the way businesses are working. We’ve seen the industry come together to provide support to each other, the local community and visitors alike, helping to get businesses and the local area back on track when the time was right.

This category celebrates partnerships, collaborations and team working, whether that be with local businesses, communities or a group of individuals. This is the category for anyone operating a collective approach to deliver activity – anything from an innovative campaign or initiative, to a new offering or service – created as a direct result of Covid-19 and which has had a positive effect on staff, customers, visitors and/or the local community to ensure that everyone could have a confident and positive experience.

Who should enter?

This category is open to anyone (businesses and individuals) in the tourism and hospitality industry – community tourism, tourism businesses (B2B and B2C), hospitality businesses, destination management organisations (B2B), tour operators, destination marketing companies, destination management companies, transport operators, destination and sector organisations, retail and entertainment venues. If you believe that "tourism is everyone's business" and you are operating a collective approach to deliver activity, this is the category for you!