Scottish Thistle Awards celebrates national tourism stars


THE spotlight shone on the individuals and businesses working across Scotland’s tourism industry last Thursday at the national final of the Scottish Thistle Awards.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018, Paisley Halloween Festival and Aberdeen International Airport were among those honoured with the highest accolade in the Scottish hospitality and tourism sector.

The National Final of the Scottish Thistle Awards took place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, where 470 people gathered to see 18 individuals, businesses and events honoured for their contribution to the tourism sector.

Amongst those honoured was Brigadier David Allfrey who received the prestigious Johnstons of Elgin Silver Thistle Award.

The Brigadier has held the position of Chief Executive and Producer of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

2020’s Winners – Image supplied

He was described by judges as an “inspiring leader of many in the industry” and was commended for “always finding the time for others to share his thoughts and to support initiatives to help grow quality tourism in Scotland.”

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 received the inaugural Inclusive Tourism award, sponsored by The Cumberland Building Society.

The All-Energy Exhibition & Conference 2019, which took place at the Scottish Event Campus, was awarded Best Business Event.

There was also a special award for The 2019 Solheim Cup which was held at Gleneagles in September.

The special recognition award was accepted by European Solheim Cup Director for the Ladies European Tour, Polly Clark, and Catriona Matthew, who captained Team Europe.

Other national award winners included Paisley Halloween Festival (Best Cultural Event or Festival), The McManus: Dundee’s art Gallery & Museum  (Best Visitor Attraction sponsored by ScotRail), James Ryan, Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, (Tourism and Hospitality Hero) and Salomon Skyline Scotland 2018  (Best Sporting Event).

The 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards, in association with Fishers, rewards hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, visitor attractions, business and consumer events, and individuals going above and beyond to create a destination and visitor experience worth talking about amongst our valuable tourism industry.

Comedian Craig Hill co-hosted the evening with Heart Radio presenter and former Miss Scotland, Jennifer Reoch. Entertainment was provided by Scottish singer-song writer, Callum Beattie.

Rebecca Brooks, chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel and VisitScotland Board member, said: “The Scottish Thistle Awards help shine the spotlight on individuals and businesses going above and beyond to create a destination and visitor experience worth talking about amongst our valuable tourism industry.

“On behalf of the industry panel, I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all of the national winners of the 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards.

“These awards are firmly established within the tourism industry in Scotland and these winners should feel very proud to join the prestigious roll of honour that celebrates innovation, success and excellence in the Scottish hospitality and tourism sector.”