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HomeNewsGin, Jazz and Guest House Scoop Aberdeen City & Shire Tourism Awards

Gin, Jazz and Guest House Scoop Aberdeen City & Shire Tourism Awards

A lucky 13 businesses and individuals are the big winners at the 2022 Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards held in Aberdeen on Firday (11 November 2022) – the first time the event has been held since 2019.

Douneside House by Tarland and Maryculter House were crowned Best Hotel Experience under 20 rooms and over 20 rooms respectively. Judges commented that Douneside “placed customer experience at the heart of all decision-making”. Maryculter House’s laudable commitment to local staff development were key in the judges’ eyes.

Marta Skowron Thielun of Hilton TECA was named as the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism and Hospitality Hero. Judges described Marta as “a self-starter with energy, initiative and self-motivation who went above and beyond in the work-place.”

Stephen Gow, chairman of the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards says, “These awards recognise tourism business and individuals striving to innovate and excite within our sector. Tonight’s celebrations demonstrate their tenacity and resilience in the face of pandemic adversity but, importantly, their optimistic, creative approach to the future. I particularly want to thank our generous sponsors, without whom we could not have delivered the first awards since 2019 and also the volunteer committee members and judges who give their time for the good of the whole sector.”

Great “story-telling and a sense of place” saw The City of Aberdeen Distillery and Gin School becoming the toast of the Food Tourism Award category with Aberdeen’s Kirk View achievements during the darkest times for hospitality contributing to its top of the class in Best Eatery Experience. A focus on local suppliers and a reduction in food miles were highlighted by judges as The Titan Sky Bar at Meldrum House Hotel won the Best Bar or Pub award.

Lys Na Greyne in Aboyne won the Best B & B or Guest House Experience, as judges commented that they “seem to have absolutely mastered the art of B&B”. Down on The Farm was crowned Best Self-Catering Accommodation Experience with their new products, services and collaborations of particular note for the judges.

Stephen Gow, general manager of The Chester Hotel and chairman of Hospitality Apprenticeship North East scooped the title of Regional Ambassador.

The Aberdeen Jazz Festival was noted for “managing to keep the event running during the pandemic with some outstanding thinking on attracting new customers and attracting back old ones”.  The Macduff Marine Aquarium, which focused on the area rather than the business during the pandemic took the Best Visitor Attraction Experience crown, while Wild Discovery was named as the Best Outdoor or Adventure Activity for “elevating Aberdeenshire to one of the best counties for wildlife watching and raising the profile of the area, to the benefit of the local economy.”

Judges felt that Cairngorm Lodges and Bothies “used collaborative work to develop the way forward and engaged with a wide range of quality partners” during the pandemic. They received the Working Together for Tourism award.

All Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards winners go forward to represent the region at the national Scottish Thistle Awards which take place in Edinburgh in February 2023.

Steven Walker, VisitScotland Board Member and Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards industry panel said: “Congratulations to all of the winners at the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards who will now progress to the National Final of the Scottish Thistle Awards in February next year.

“The Scottish Thistle Awards present an opportunity to showcase tourism as a force for good, helping to ensure that tourism is recognised for the positive impact it brings to the country.

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

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