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Article published 06/09/2022

Scottish Thistle Awards 2022/23 - The Shortlist


Thistle Awards shortlist

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 shortlist has been published on the Scottish Thistles website.

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.   

Read the News UK article partnership announcement.


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.
  • 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.  


Thistles Finals

Regional nominees enjoying the Scottish Thistle Awards final

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.

Steven Walker, Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards industry panel

Celebrating Responsible Tourism

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.   


Grey Hope Cafe with kite

People flying kites at Grey Hope Cafe


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. 

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