The Lothian & Borders regional tourism awards

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
interior of the National Museum

National Museum after the refurbishments

National Museums Scotland which has had an eventful few years with refurbishments and exhibitions gathering worldwide interest picked up the Best Visitor Attraction award at the recent 2016 / 2017 Lothian & Borders regional tourism awards. The marathon and the accompanying events in Edinburgh collected the Best Sporting Event award.

This year there were just thirteen awards handed out, two fewer than in the awards handed out in the west of Scotland.

The Best Cultural Event or Festival was won by Unique Events for the Edinburgh Hogmanay which must have been a difficult choice to make. Find an organisation that doesn’t try it’s all for Hogmanay and I’d be surprised!

ScotRail collected the Working Together for Tourism award whilst one of the non-Edinburgh based organisations, Born in the Borders which is based in Jedburgh walked off with the Innovation in Tourism award.

In the accommodation group of awards, The Chester Residence was voted the Best Accommodation Provider award and Motel One-Edinburgh Royal won the important Most Hospitable Hotel Award. In the same category for B&B’s and guesthouses, Edinburgh’s Barony House won.

Number One at the Balmoral was judged to provide the best restaurant experience and  the award for the best informal easting experience went to the Secret Herb Garden which was also in Edinburgh.

Finally there were the awards for individuals and it is people that make the difference rather than technology or a great location, both of which help. But if that personal and considerate touch is not there, visitors sense something is missing. This year, Peter Duncan from HAGGiS Adventures  was named Regional Ambassador, Alastair Watson from Can You Escape? collected the Regional Rising Star Award and Hamish Reid from the Abbotsford Trust in Melrose was given the Tourism and Hospitality Hero accolade.

Of the thirteen awards, all but two of those went to organisations based in Edinburgh. There are plenty of attractions in the Borders and the rest of Lothian so why so few winners outside the capital? Did they not enter for one reason or another? Were the candidates that Edinburgh put up so strong that they were easy winners? If the latter was the case, then other organisations have something to benchmark themselves against. If the former is true then the sooner the reasons are understood the better.

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