The Scottish Thistle Awards shortlist announced

The Scottish Thistle Awards shortlist announced

EDINBURGH, Scotland, 2022-Sep-07 — /Travel PR News/ — MORE than one hundred tourism businesses and events have been shortlisted for a regional accolade in Scotland’s premier tourism and events awards.

Accommodation providers, visitor attractions, hotels, restaurants, events and individuals the length and breadth of the country are in the running for a Scottish Thistle Award, as the shortlist for the regional finals is revealed.

The Scottish Thistle Awards, which for the first time this year includes a media partnership with News Scotland, shine a spotlight on individual businesses and people working in this vital part of the Scottish economy, which is worth £11.5 billion.

This year’s shortlist for the Lothian & Borders; Central, Fife & Tayside and West Regional Finals includes Edinburgh International Festival which is shortlisted in the Outstanding Cultural Event or Festival category, The Helix, Home of the Kelpies shortlisted in the Best Visitor Attraction Experience category and The Mull of Galloway Trust, Scotland’s most southerly point, which is shortlisted in the Best Self-Catering Experience category.

These regional finalists will now come head-to-head with competition from other tourism businesses and events in their area at five different regional award ceremonies to be held in October and November.

Delivered by national tourism organisation VisitScotland, 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 national 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.

2022 saw more than 300 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.

Steven Walker, Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards industry panel, said: “Now more than ever, the Scottish Thistle Awards present an opportunity to showcase tourism as a force for good, helping to ensure that tourism is recognised for the positive impact it brings to the country.

“The Scottish Thistle Awards have attracted entries from right across the country, with every one of the shortlisted regional finalists demonstrating a commitment to innovative, collaborative and sustainable practices that are helping to support the recovery of our valuable tourism and events industry.

“On behalf of the panel, I would like to congratulate all regional finalists and wish each and every one of them the very best of luck at the regional finals and beyond.”

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 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.

  •  The Central, Fife & Tayside Regional Final will take place at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh on Thursday 27 October.
  • The Lothian & Borders Regional Final will take place at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh on Thursday 27 October.
  • The Highlands and Islands Regional Final, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, will take place at the Kingsmill Hotel in Inverness on Friday 4 November.
  • The West Regional Final will take place at Òran Mór, Glasgow, on Thursday 10 November.
  • The Aberdeen City and Shire Regional Final, organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, will take place at the Chester Hotel, Aberdeen, on Friday 11 November.

The full 13 regional categories are:  

  • Best B&B or Guest House Experience, sponsored by Abbey UK
  • Best Bar orf Pub
  • Best Eatery Experience
  • Best Hotel Experience (over 20 rooms), sponsored by Fishers
  • Best Hotel Experience (under 20 rooms)
  • Best Outdoor or Adventure Experience
  • Best Self-Catering Experience
  • Best Visitor Attraction Experience
  • Food Tourism Award
  • Outstanding Cultural Event or Festival
  • Regional Ambassador
  • Tourism & Hospitality Hero
  • Working Together for Tourism

For a full list of shortlisted finalists, please visit: Scottish Thistle Awards (

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on Twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s key objective is to contribute to Scotland Outlook 2030, the national tourism strategy ambition of pursuing a sustainable and responsible tourism agenda.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices).
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
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  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to

Year of Stories 2022 (YS2022)

  • Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 will spotlight, celebrate and promote the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland.
  • Led by VisitScotland, the Year of Stories 2022 will sustain and build upon the momentum of preceding Themed Years, showcasing a nationwide programme of major events and community celebrations.
  • From icons of literature to local tales, Scotland’s Year of Stories encourages locals and visitors to experience a diversity of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present.
  • Scotland’s Year of Stories will encourage responsible engagement and inclusive participation from the people of Scotland and our visito
  • A marketing toolkit, featuring an industry guide, FAQs and the Year of Stories 2022 logo, is available on to help businesses, organisations and the travel trade maximise the Themed Years opportunity.
  • Join the conversation using #YS2022 and #TalesOfScotland.
  • Following an industry consultation, Themed Years will take place every second year to enable more time for planning and collaboration. The next Themed Year will take place in 2024.


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Source: VisitScotland