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Article published 29/04/2022

Headline sponsor for Scotland’s premier tourism and events announced

Thistles Awards logo

World renowned heritage retail brand Johnstons of Elgin has been announced as headline sponsor of this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards.

Scotland’s premier tourism and events awards make a welcome return this year to celebrate the very best of this vital industry, which is worth £11.5 billion to the Scottish economy.

It comes as Johnstons of Elgin, a previous category sponsor of the Scottish Thistle Awards, celebrate a landmark 225 years of manufacturing excellence in 2022. Since 1797, the Johnstons of Elgin signature innovation and quality have been without compare.

The Johnston family name has always been synonymous with craft, patience, elegance and luxury. A byword for innovation and benchmark-setting, over the past 225 years, the company has defined and redefined the industry.

Johnstons of Elgin

Image: VisitScotland Chairman Lord Thurso and Stewart Marshall, Sales & Operations Manager at Johnstons of Elgin, on a recent visit to announce the sponsorship 

The Scottish Thistle Awards, which for the first time this year includes a media partnership with News Scotland, 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.

The Scottish Thistle Awards champion the very best of the Scottish tourism and events industry, celebrating innovation, collaboration and sustainable practices.

Responsible tourism is at the heart of this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards and Johnstons of Elgin’s commitment to quality and sustainability is key to this partnership.

We look forward to working with our headline sponsors to recognise other businesses and individuals working within tourism and events who are striving to make Scotland a fantastic place to visit now and in the future.

Lord Thurso, Chairman of VisitScotland

We are very proud to be headline sponsors of the upcoming Scottish Thistle Awards, particularly in a year that sees us celebrate our own 225th anniversary. The tourism industry in particular plays a critical role for us and other luxury Scottish brands.

We have a fantastic, long-standing relationship with VisitScotland, so the decision to support the awards was an easy one, an opportunity to strengthen brands in the tourism sector after a tough two years.

As we drive towards the full return of Scottish tourism, these prestigious awards will recognise excellence within the industry and shine a light on those who have worked hard throughout the pandemic to create outstanding experiences for visitors and retain the unique spirit of this beautiful part of the world.

George McNeil, Johnstons of Elgin Managing Director of Retail

The Scottish Thistle Awards combine regional awards, including the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) and the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA), with a national final.  

Nominations can be made to five regional award ceremonies. The regional winners then go forward to compete in the national final taking place in February 2023. 

The 17 Categories, which includes 13 regional categories and four national categories, include Best B&B or Guest House Experience, Best Eatery Experience and Best Hotel Experience.  

  • Nominations for the regional categories close on 27 May 2022
  • Deadline for entering your business is 10 June 2022
  • Entries for the national categories close on 2 September 2022

Visit the Scottish Thistle Awards website for the full list of the award categories and to nominate and enter

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