Three high-rising Forth Valley businesses up for top tourism awards

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Top tourist attraction The Helix and two other high-rising businesses in the Forth Valley have reached the regional finals of this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards.

The Helix, which was recently awarded VisitScotland’s five-star rating for a second year, has been shortlisted in the Best Visitor Attraction category, sponsored by Scotrail.

Craig MacDonald from Wee Heroes

Craig MacDonald from Wee Heroes

Other local nominations include Craig MacDonald, from Wee Heroes who is up for the Regional Rising Star award, sponsored by HIT Scotland and Rough Castle Experiences in Bonnybridge which has been nominated in the Best Heritage Tourism Experience category, sponsored by Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

The Scottish Thistle Awards, now in their 27th year, help shine the spotlight on individuals and businesses going above and beyond to create a destination and visitor experience worth talking about amongst our valuable tourism industry.

They champion the very best of the Scottish tourism industry, celebrating innovation, success and excellence in the sector.

The award’s Central, Fife and Tayside regional final will take place at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh on Thursday, November 14.

Opening night of the Rough Castle Experience at the Falkirk Wheel

Opening night of the Rough Castle Experience at the Falkirk Wheel

Last year’s awards saw almost 600 entries submitted, including more than 1000 nominations from members of the public keen to give hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, visitor attractions and individuals the opportunity to earn the recognition they deserve from their own industry peers.

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Rebecca Brooks, chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards industry panel, said: “Once again, the Scottish Thistle Awards, have attracted entries from right across the country, with the regional winners earning their place at the prestigious National Final in March, where they will join the country’s tourism elite to be honoured with the highest accolade in the Scottish hospitality and tourism sector.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change. The Scottish Thistle Awards is a chance to celebrate those people and businesses responsible for offering the warmest of welcomes that our country is famous for.

“On behalf of the panel, I would like to congratulate all shortlisted entrants and wish each and every one of them the very best of luck at the regional finals.”

The Scottish Thistle Awards are led by Scotland’s national tourism organisation, VisitScotland, and supported by a panel of industry representatives including the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA), the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, sportscotland and Wild Scotland.

VisitScotland’s regional director Neil Christison said: “I am delighted to see that the Helix, home to Scotland’s iconic Kelpies, has been shortlisted in the Scottish Thistle Awards regional final.

“These entries show the strength and depth of the tourism industry in the region, from world-famous attractions to individuals going the extra mile to put the region on the map. Those individuals and businesses should feel very proud to have reached the regional finals and I wish them the very best of luck.”

For a full list of shortlisted finalists visit: www.scottishthistleawards.co.uk