Scottish Thistle Awards

Thistle CMYK 2022 23

There are also four awards which are awarded at a National level only. If you would like to enter one of the following National-only categories, please visit The Scottish Thistle Awards Website.

  • Best Business Event

After two years of the pandemic where few face-to-face business events made it to fruition, this category again celebrates business events as catalysts for economic and social transformation. Aligned to VisitScotland’s Journey to Change, the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) business events can range from corporate conferences or incentive programmes to annual global congresses with thousands of international delegates.

  • Outstanding Sporting Event

Despite being one of the most strongly impacted sectors by the Covid19 pandemic, Scotland’s 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 national and local events, Scotland has a rich annual programme of sporting events which make an important contribution to our thriving communities and cities and the health and wellbeing of our people, supporting the message that Scotland is the Perfect Stage for events.

This category aims to celebrate and recognise outstanding sporting events delivered during the pandemic. If your events bring attendees in from outside of the immediate area, from across Scotland or internationally, then you should consider your event part of Scotland’s tourism and events offering and eligible to apply.  Entries are sought from sporting events 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. Applications should also recognise the relevant Covid-19 restrictions which were in place at the time. Eligible events will have been delivered between September 2020 to May 2022.  For annual or recurring events, it is the most recent edition that is eligible.

  • Responsible Tourism Award 

Responsible Tourism focuses on a collaborative approach for re-building and growing the value of tourism, in a way that makes better places for people to live and visit, in every corner of Scotland. Responsible Tourism maximises the positive benefits and minimises the negative impact of tourism for everyone. It’s not just about reducing our carbon footprint. It’s also about making sure our industry is inclusive, has a positive impact on communities and supports our heritage.

In line with the Outlook 2030 strategy’s ambition for sustainable and responsible growth, it is important that the tourism and events industry in Scotland continues to develop in a responsible way.  VisitScotland’s approach to developing Scotland as a Responsible Destination focuses on four key objectives:

  • Supporting Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy
  • Ensuring tourism and events in Scotland are inclusive
  • Ensuring tourism and events contribute to thriving communities
  • Supporting the protection and considerate enjoyment of Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage

This award celebrates businesses and events, which have made demonstrable progress embedding Responsible Tourism values into their core activity, across the four key objectives outlined above.  

  • Best Luxury Experience

This award celebrates those businesses bringing luxury to the Scottish visitor experience. Luxury experiences are those bespoke offerings which showcase the best of Scotland and bring the wow-factor to every step of the customer journey.  This award recognises unique tour offerings or experience packages, with a focus on exclusivity and attention to detail.

Scottish-based tour operators with bespoke luxury offerings, food and drink or accommodation providers offering specific luxury packages should enter.