2023 Aberdeen CIty and Shire Thistle Awards Open For Entries

20221111 Tourism Awards Winners 011

New Categories Unveiled For Launch of 2023 Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards

New categories for 2023 Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards have been announced as the 11th awards open for entries.

For the first time, the awards will include the categories Celebrating Thriving Communities, Inclusive Tourism, Climate Action and Tourism and Hospitality Employer of the Year along with nine further categories.

Entries open today (Monday 3 April 2023) for the 2023 Awards, which have been organised by a volunteer committee of tourism professionals since 2014 and which recognise one of the north-east of Scotland’s most important sectors.  Business can view the thirteen 2023 categories at www.acsta.co.uk.

Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards chairman Stephen Gow MI FIH says, “Tourism is of significant economic benefit to the north east. Our tourism businesses support 1.3 million overnight visits, 14.6 million day visits, 4.4 million bed nights and generate over £850 million.  Tourism businesses, large and small.  in our area are constantly evolving and innovating. We are proud that the awards remain free to enter to encourage an open field for all sizes and formats of businesses to enter. Having no entry fee means we can represent the full range of tourism businesses from one man bands to large companies across the north east and I encourage every business to consider entering.”

The regional awards ceremony will take place in Aberdeen at The Chester Hotel on Friday 22 September. Local winners will then go forward to represent the north east at the national Scottish Thistle Awards in November.

As a move to work in closer partnership with the Scottish Thistle Awards, the awards, previously called the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards have been renamed as the Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards.

In 2022, three Aberdeen City and Shire winners went on to scoop a Scottish Thistle award – five star Aboyne B & B Lys Na Greyne was named the Best B & B Experience. Douneside House took home the Best Hotel Experience under 20 rooms and Crathie-based Wild Discovery scooped the Best Outdoor Adventure Experience gong.

Gillian Currie, business manager and director at Douneside House said of the experience, “Being announced as a regional winner at the Aberdeen City & Shire Tourism Awards and then representing the north east and winning Best Hotel Experience under 20 rooms at the Thistle Awards was an absolute highlight in our year.  It has been a fantastic morale boost for our hard-working team to be recognised in this way.  We have also been delighted with how much our win has increased our profile, with many new visitors telling us that they read about it in the news or saw it online.“

Dan Brown, owner of Wild Discovery along with his wife Rachel encourages other tourism businesses to enter the 2023 awards, “Winning the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Award was not only an honour but it has been highly beneficial to our business. The validation that comes with such an accolade clearly reassures and encourages prospective clients to book with us and it has undoubtedly been responsible for a significant increase in our business turnover so far this year.”

Down On The Farm was local winner of the Best Self Catering Experience award for its luxury glamping experience in Rosehearty by Fraserburgh in coastal vintage railway carriages and high seas hideaways. Carole Short of Down On The Farm says, “Being part of the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards has been really beneficial for our business.  Guests got behind us and offered wonderful words of encouragement and support before the event, and after the event there was more awareness of what we offer, lovely compliments, and it raised our profile within the area.”

Entries for the awards are open from Monday 3 April to Friday 12 May and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Friday 22 September.