Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards are returning for an encore performance, with those picking up honours to also represent the region at the Scottish Thistle Tourism Awards 2016.
ACTSA held its annual awards dinner in January 2015, but in order to meet the timeframe for next year’s Scottish Thistle Awards, another ceremony is to take place on November 27.
Entries have opened for 14 different categories, in line with those at the Scottish Thistle Awards. These include new sections, such as Tourism – Everyone’s Business, which is open to any organisation that inspires best practice when it comes to looking after visitors.
A second new category is Hospitality Hero, open to anyone working on the front line and dedicated to providing a special experience for visitors.
The awards are once again being supported by the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels’ Association, which is appealing for businesses of all sizes to submit entry forms and show the high quality tourism offering in the area.
The launch of the awards coincides with the arrival of the VisitScotland Expo in Aberdeen this week. It expected that the event at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre will attract hundreds of international delegates.
ACSTA chairman, Iain Watson, said: “With such a huge week for tourism in the north east we felt that it would be a very appropriate time to open ACSTA up for entries. Hundreds of delegates from all over the world will be attending Expo and seeing for themselves what this part of Scotland has to offer.
“We are in an unusual position of holding two awards ceremonies within a 12 month period, but we felt it was essential that we took steps to align ourselves with the Scottish Thistle Awards.
“This means that all of our winners will become regional winners of the Scottish Thistle Awards, and will go on to compete in the national final. They will be up against other tourism operators from all over Scotland, and will show the exceptionally high quality of what we have to offer here in the north east.
“We have had a fantastic response to ACSTA over the past two years, and I sincerely hope that individuals and businesses will continue to support an event that has fast become one of the key dates in the hospitality sector calendar.
“We urge them to get their entries in as soon as possible, and help us to show the rest of Scotland that we are in a league of our own when it comes to looking after our visitors.”
The full list of awards categories is:
- Tourism – Everyone’s Business
- Best Informal Eating Experience
- Best Event/Festival
- Innovation Award
- Friendliest Pub/Bar
- Best Visitor Attraction
- Most Hospitable B&B Guest House
- Best Restaurant Experience
- Best Holiday Accommodation
- Most Hospitable Hotel
- Young Ambassador Award
- Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience
- Hospitality Hero
Entries for ACSTA will open at www.acsta.co.uk are now and will close on June 19, 2015. Three entries will be shortlisted for each category and the winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Ardoe House Hotel and Spa in Aberdeen on November 27, 2015.