North East tourism providers excel at Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards

The successes of tourism operators in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have been recognised at a prestigious industry awards ceremony. Tourism professionals from across the region were rewarded for their efforts at the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, which took place at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa last Friday, November 27.

Steve Harris, chief executive of VisitAberdeen, was awarded one of the main honours of the night - the Regional Ambassador award - for his work in promoting the region to business and leisure visitors. Since VisitAberdeen was launched in 2013, Steve has been at the forefront of tourism promotion for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and has contributed much to the area’s tourism industry.

In total, 14 organisations and individuals received awards at the ceremony. Meldrum Country House Hotel was declared the most hospitable hotel for the third year in a row, while Banchory Lodge Hotel and Glendavan House also held onto their titles for the second year running, named as best restaurant and most hospitable B&B respectively.

Iain Watson, chairman of the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, says, “The tourism industry in the north east of Scotland is in a very good position, with large operators and smaller independent outfits providing outstanding service to visitors. This year’s winners really reflect that – ACSTA has never before celebrated a more diverse and inspiring range of tourism operators.

“All of the winners have shown an innovative and imaginative approach to the tourism industry in the north east, and we hope they will continue to build on this as we move into Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016.”

For the first time in the three years the awards have been running, winners will go on to represent the north east of Scotland at the Scottish Thistle Awards 2016. Stephen Carter, VisitScotland board member and chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel, says, “This is the first year Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards have been held in association with the Scottish Thistle Awards, and we would hope this is just the beginning of a strong relationship.

“I would like to congratulate this year’s winners on their respective awards. Tourism businesses in Aberdeen City and Shire have once again proved they are the ‘best of the best’, with a number of outstanding finalists, spread right across the region being celebrated and recognised. Tonight’s awards send a strong message that the tourism industry in Aberdeen City and Shire is diverse, high quality and in good health.”

The winners of the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards are:
• Tourism – Everyone’s Business sponsored by The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa – World Horse Welfare, Belwade Farm
• Best Informal Eating Experience sponsored by The Hotel Collection – The Cock and Bull
• Best Cultural Event or Festival sponsored by Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre – Taste of Grampian
• Innovation Award sponsored by VisitAberdeen – Visit Royal Deeside
• Hospitality Hero sponsored by Brewdog – Elma McMenemy, Elma McMenemy Tourism Marketing & PR
• Friendliest Pub/Bar sponsored by Marriott Hotels – Malones
• Best Visitor Attraction sponsored by The Chester Hotel – Macduff Marine Aquarium
• Most Hospitable Guest House or B&B  sponsored by Aberdeenshire Council – Glendavan House
• Best Restaurant Experience sponsored by Northlink Ferries – Banchory Lodge Hotel
• Best Holiday Accommodation sponsored by Tricker PR – High Seas Hobbit and Coastal Carriage
• Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience sponsored by EDC Hotels – Deeside Activity Park
• Most Hospitable Hotel sponsored by Aberdeen International Airport – Meldrum House Country Hotel
• Regional Young Ambassador sponsored by Ardoe House Hotel and Spa – Steven Daun, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre
• Regional Ambassador sponsored by Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels’ Association – Steve Harris, VisitAberdeen

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