Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 18/03/2024

Be recognised as one of the best in Scottish tourism

The search is on to find the best of the best in Scottish tourism as entries open for the 30th Scottish Thistle Awards.

Tourism and events businesses across the country can now officially send in their applications to be recognised across a range of categories including Best Hotel Experience, Best Eating Experience, Best Bar/Pub and Best Visitor Attraction.

For 30 years, the Scottish Thistle Awards have helped shine a spotlight on individual businesses, people and partnership working. They have become an annual celebration of excellence, collaboration and innovation within one of the country's most important sectors.

This year's entries will close on 28 April 2024.

Winners of the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final 2023 


Does your business have what it takes?

Responsible tourism is at the heart of the Scottish Thistle Awards, supporting the aim for Scotland to be recognised globally as a leader in this field. Entrants to all 18 categories must evidence how they have embraced best practice covering the four key areas of a low carbon economy, inclusivity, thriving communities and Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage.  

2024 sees the introduction of a new Rising Star Award. Sponsored by HIT Scotland, the award aims to recognise the achievements of individuals that are at the start of their career within the tourism and hospitality industry. 


Regional winners for Central, East and the West will be announced at two regional finals delivered by VisitScotland in September.  

Winners from all five regional awards, which also include the Highlands and Islands Thistle Awards (HITA), the Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards (ACSTA) and the South of Scotland Thistle Awards (delivered in partnership with the South of Scotland Destination Alliance and supported by South of Scotland Enterprise) go on to compete at the Scottish Thistle Awards national ceremony in November. 

The Scottish Thistle Awards represent an exciting opportunity for individuals and businesses to gain recognition for all the work they do to make the region and Scotland such a fantastic place to visit and stay.

By winning a Scottish Thistle Award, tourism businesses join a prestigious roll of honour, earning recognition as one of the best in the country, helping to ensure that tourism, and the individuals who work in the industry, are recognised for the positive impact they bring to the country and our communities.

Tourism is a vital industry to Scotland and I would encourage those working in tourism and events to get their entries in and help shine a spotlight on our area.

Steven Walker, Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel

Related links