Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
image of Drum Castle

Drum Castle – which collected two awards. Image © NTS

As you might guess from the name, Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, some of the awards are slanted towards things Scottish. And so they should be.

Visitors don’t go up to Scotland to see things they might experience elsewhere so awards like best restaurant should highlight Scottish sourced produce. That makes some of the awards handed out last week different from restaurant and tourism awards in other parts of our countries.

It was Eat on the Green in Udney Green, some twenty kilometres north west of Aberdeen that collected that Best Restaurant Experience Award. which, in the words of the organisers is “designed to recognise and celebrate restaurants who not only offer a quality food and drink experience, but include and promote local Scottish produce on their menus to give consumers choice.” Following the same intention, No.10 Bar & Restaurant in Aberdeen picked up the Best Informal Eating Experience top award. To round off the food awards, The Grill in Aberdeen was named Friendliest Pub/Bar which to a visitor sounds a much more appealing award to remember than “Best Pub/Bar.” Friendliness attracts visitors and a friendly one is more important than being the best as it implies a strong element of customer service. picked up the Best Informal Eating Experience top award.

Royal Lochnagar Distillery was named the Best Visitor Attraction and to quote the organisers again, this is for “attractions which provide world class service with a distinctive Scottish twist.”

parade at the Braemar Gathering 2016

the Braemar Gathering 2016. Image © BRHS

Deeside Activity Park walked off with the Best Outdoor/Activity Experience award, Celebrate Aberdeen  (just five year’s old this year) collected the award for Best Cultural Event or Festival and the Braemar Gathering took the best Sporting Event award.  Drum Castle was judged the winner in the Innovation in Tourism Award and shared the Working Together for Tourism Award with Aberdeen Art Gallery (now closed for re-development until winter 2017.)  This award is a little unusual amongst other awards but is meant to recognise collaborations whilst “encouraging best practice, customer service and drive to offer a great and collaborative experience to every guest.”

In the accommodation categories, the Most Hospitable Hotel was the Holiday Inn, Aberdeen West and the Most Hospitable B&B or Guesthouse was also in Braemar, Callater Lodge. Once again, the title is reassuring to visitors; not “best” hotel but “most hospitable.” It suggests something more than just a clinical and very capable best but a friendly, warm and inviting place as well.

Mill of Nethermill Holidays was considered to be the Best Accommodation Provider.

Finally there were categories that reward people rather than companies or organisations. A lifetime achievement award went to Roger Goodyear who has been involved with the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival for many years and who received an MBE for his efforts a year or so ago. Maybe that will come to the other three personal winners in time. Jean Ryrie from Jurys Inns was named Tourism and Hospitality Hero, Gemma Cruickshank from Visit Aberdeenshire was declared Regional Rising Star (Age below 30) and Claire Bruce from Glen Tanar was named Regional Ambassador, the category for those not under 30!

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