The shortlist has been revealed for the 2019 Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA) with venues from a luxury five-star hotel to a café based on board a double decker bus in the running for top honours.
The awards aim to represent the very best of the region’s tourism businesses and individuals who go the extra mile to ensure guests have a memorable and enjoyable experience. Those who are working and collaborating to develop the tourism offering across the city and shire are also recognised.
ACSTA chairman Stephen Gow said: “We’ve seen the awards grow in popularity each year: people involved in the local tourism sector recognise that winning a title at ACSTA is a ringing endorsement of what they do and what they do well.
“The judging panel was once again struck by the range of entrants from across the region, from small one-man operators through to large multi-national organisations. It gives a snapshot of the strength and diversity of our local tourism offering and shows that everyone has a role to play in putting Aberdeen city and shire on the tourism map.”
New hotel venues Sandman Signature Hotel Aberdeen and The Fife Arms, Braemar have made the shortlist for most hospitable hotel, along with Trump MacLeod House & Lodge and the Tor Na Coille Hotel, Banchory.
The Deeside venue has also made the shortlist for best restaurant experience, along with Carron to Mumbai, Stonehaven and Signature Food Festival at The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen.
The Davron Hotel, Rosehearty; Aberdeen avocado-themed restaurant AVO, the Newmacher Hotel and The Highlander Café Bus at Aberdeen beachfront are finalists in the best informal eating experience category.
Winners will be announced at a gala dinner and awards ceremony taking place at The Chester Hotel on Friday, November 22 where the host will be TV weather presenter Judith Ralston. ACSTA is supported by a number of local and national sponsors – the lead sponsor is laundry and textile rental specialists, Fishers.
Local winners will go on to represent the north-east region at the national tourism Oscars, the Scottish Thistle Awards, which will take place in the spring of 2020. A number of local entrants have gone on to scoop national titles after taking the regional honours.
The full list of finalists is:
Most Hospitable Hotel – Sandman Signature Aberdeen Hotel; Trump MacLeod House & Lodge; Tor Na Coille Hotel; The Fife Arms.
Innovation in Tourism – The Gordon Highlanders Museum WW1 Replica Trench, Stonehaven Tourism Group, Vanilla Ink the Smiddy.
Best Heritage Tourism Experience – Peterhead Prison Museum; Grampian Escapes & Tours Ltd; Museum of Scottish Lighthouses and Kinnaird Head Castle and Lighthouse.
Best Self Catering – Sweetheart Cottage Holiday Let; Downie’s Cottage; Seafront Cottages.
Regional Ambassador – Lynda McGuigan, Discover Fraserburgh Tourism Group; David Harris, Bonnie Wee Golf.
Working Together for Tourism – Stonehaven Tourism Group; Aberdeen International Airport and its Northern Lights Lounge food and drink suppliers; What’s Happening Aberdeen and AT Taxis.
Best Informal Eating Experience – The Davron Hotel; The Highlander Cafe Bus; AVO; Newmachar Hotel.
Most Hospitable B&B – No 45; Lys-Na-Greyne.
Regional Rising Star – Karolina Weberova, Jury’s Inn; Dean Lamont, Malmaison; Leonora Brebner, Sandman Signature Aberdeen Hotel.
Best Visitor Attraction – BrewDog DogWalk Brewery Tour; Trump International, Scotland; Delgatie Castle Trust.
Best Pub/Bar – The Tippling House; Grape & Grain; The Spiritualist.
Best Cultural Event or Festival – The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival; Nuart Aberdeen Festival.
Best Restaurant Experience – Carron to Mumbai; Tor Na Coille Hotel; Signature Food Festival at The Chester Hotel.