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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 05/11/2018

The countdown to this year’s Regional Finals of the Scottish Thistle Awards is on, as a group of young rising stars of the industry celebrate their nomination with host Jennifer Reoch.

Amy Paton (20) from Falkirk Community Trust and Craig MacDonald (20) owner of Transcend Escape Rooms and Wee Heroes in Falkirk have both been shortlisted for a Scottish Thistle Award in the Regional Rising Star category, sponsored by Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland, in recognition of their passion for the tourism industry.

They are shortlisted alongside Becca Buckner (26), from the Scotch Whisky Experience, and Joe Posnett (22) from the Apex Hotel in Edinburgh.

TV presenter and former Miss Scotland, Jennifer Reoch, will announce the winner of the Central, Fife & Tayside category, as well as the Lothian & Borders category at the glittering awards ceremony at the Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh, on Thursday 15 November. The winners, who will be announced later this month, will also receive a HIT Scotland scholarship.

The Scottish Thistle Awards are Scotland’s premier awards for the tourism industry. They celebrate success, innovation, excellence and best practice in Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry.

This year more than 640 entries were submitted, and we had well over a thousand nominations from members of the public keen to recognise hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, visitor attractions and individuals who go the extra mile to provide customers with exceptional service.

The Scottish Thistle Awards is led by a panel of industry experts from several organisations including VisitScotland, Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA), the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, sportscotland and Wild Scotland.

I am so delighted to be once again part of the Scottish Thistle Awards, celebrating the very best of our incredible tourism industry. The quality of every single finalist is always exceptional so I am really excited to meet them all, especially the stars of the future - the enthusiasm and skill of each rising star candidate is exceptionally inspiring.

Scottish Thistle Awards Host, Jennifer Reoch

In the Year of Young People 2018, it is fitting to pay special mention to our younger workforce, recognised in the Regional Rising Star categories. Our young people play a valuable role in the country’s thriving tourism and hospitality sector and it is fantastic to see our young tourism ambassadors recognised in this way. The future of the tourism industry lies with our young people, and the Regional Rising Star award celebrates an individual who shows real promise as a rising star in Scottish tourism and a passion for their future and the future of the industry.

Rebecca Brooks, Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards industry panel

Regional finals will take place in different locations around Scotland:

  • The Highlands and Islands Regional Final, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, were held at Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, on Friday 2 November
  • The Central, Fife & Tayside Regional Final will take place at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh on Thursday 15 November
  • The Lothian & Borders Regional Final will take place at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh on Thursday 15 November
  • The Aberdeen City and Shire Regional Final, organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, will take place at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa, Aberdeen, on Friday 23 November
  • The West Regional Final will take place at Oran Mor, Glasgow, on Thursday 29 November

The full 14 regional categories are:

  • ScotRail - Best Visitor Attraction
  • Fishers - Most Hospitable Hotel
  • Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers – Best Self-Catering Accommodation Experience
  • Criton - Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House
  • Caledonian MacBrayne - Best Eating Experience
  • J Thomson Colour Printers - Best Bar / Pub
  • Johnstons of Elgin - Regional Ambassador
  • Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience
  • Edinburgh Airport - Working Together For Tourism
  • Tourism & Hospitality Hero
  • HIT Scotland - Regional Rising Star
  • Kinrara Distillery - Best Cultural Event or Festival
  • Historic Environment Scotland - Best Heritage Tourism Experience
  • Geotourist - Innovation in Tourism Award