The north east hospitality industry has honoured the memory of a leading light in the tourism sector with a posthumous lifetime achievement award. Peter Medley, who died earlier this year after a brave fight against cancer, was recognised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA) last week for his work in growing both consumer and business travel markets in the region.
Mr Medley, who was 63, had worked in many tourism roles in the north east for over a quarter of the century, and was latterly marketing director at VisitAberdeen before it became VisitAberdeenshire and he took on the role of business development director.
He held many voluntary roles with Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels’ Association, the Hospitality Training Association and VisitScotland Aberdeen City and Shire, and is credited with breaking ground for the region by introducing many new markets.
Mr Medley led countless trade missions to Scandinavia over the years, and this was where he met his wife, Sigrid. She collected the posthumous honour at last night’s awards ceremony, which took place at Ardoe House Hotel in Aberdeen.
ACSTA chairman Alison Christie says it was an opportunity for many friends and colleagues to reflect on the work that Mr Medley had carried out on behalf of the industry. She adds, “Everyone who knew Peter would describe him as a gentleman and consummate professional. His presence continues to be greatly missed by all of those involved in tourism in the north east.
“We felt that this award was a fitting tribute to a man who was a true ambassador for the area, and who deserves a great deal of credit for opening up Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to visitors from a number of destinations and sectors.”
In other awards presented last night, the regional ambassador was named as Peter Walker of Meldrum Country House Hotel and Golf Club. The venue also took one of the night’s other top honours – most hospitable hotel – which it has won on three occasions in the past.
Hannah Beadie, who specialises in events at National Trust for Scotland property Castle Fraser, received the award for regional rising star for individuals aged under 30, while hospitality hero of the year was Colin Gunn of Holiday Inn West Aberdeen.
The best restaurant award went to No 10 Bar & Restaurant while the title it won last year – best informal eating experience – went to The Cock and Bull.
Alison adds, “The awards represent the diverse range of individuals, groups and businesses that make a huge impact on tourism across Aberdeen city and shire and ensure that visitors from both the leisure and business tourism markets enjoy exceptional experiences.
“Every year the overall standard of entries coming forward gets better and better, and reflects the continued efforts being made to raise the bar on customer experience. We wish all of our ACSTA winners the very best of luck as they go on to represent the region at the Scottish Thistle Awards.”
The Scottish Thistle Awards, organised by VisitScotland, will take place in the spring. Last year the Aberdeen city and shire region took three of the national accolades back to the area in the face of stiff competition from across Scotland.
The full list of winners is:
Most Hospitable Hotel – Meldrum House Country Hotel & Golf Course.
Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House – Lys-Na-Greyne.
Best Accommodation Provider – Down on the Farm
Best Bar/Pub – McGinty’s Meal An’ Ale
Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience – Deeside Activity Park
Best Visitor Attraction – DogWalk Brewery Tour
Working Together for Tourism – Discover Fraserburgh Tourism Group
Innovation in Tourism Award – Peterhead Prison Museum
Tourism and Hospitality Hero – Colin Gunn – Holiday Inn Aberdeen West.
Regional Rising Star (Age -30) – Hannah Beedie – Castle Fraser, Garden & Estate.
Regional Ambassador (age 31+) – Peter Walker – Meldrum House Country Hotel and Golf Course.
Best Cultural Event or Festival – True North – Aberdeen’s Festival of Music and Song.
Best Sporting Event – Scottish National Age Group Swimming Championships.
Best Informal Eating Experience – The Cock and Bull.
Best Restaurant Experience – No.10 Bar & Restaurant
Best Heritage Tourism Experience – Glen Garioch Distillery