Aberdeen airport recognised at Scottish Thistle Awards

THE spotlight shone on the individuals and businesses working across Scotland’s tourism industry last night at the National Final of the Scottish Thistle Awards.

Aberdeen International Airport and its Northern Lights Lounge food and drinks suppliers was among those honoured with the highest accolade in the Scottish hospitality and tourism sector at the National Final of the Scottish Thistle Awards held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre last night when it received the Working Together for Tourism award.

The award celebrates partnerships, collaborations and team working between tourism businesses and travel trade to deliver new and innovative campaigns or activity that offer a great and collaborative experience to every guest.

The Northern Lights Lounge has had more than 250,000 visitors since it opened in 2017 and works in partnership with local suppliers to showcase the best the north-east has to offer, such as Brewdog beer, Dean’s shortbread, Mackie’s crisps and The Bay Fishcakes. Judges praised the entry for their unique and innovative approach as well as their plans for continued growth.

VisitScotland regional director Jo Robinson said: “Congratulations to Aberdeen International Airport on this fantastic achievement. The Working Together for Tourism award recognises their commitment to working in collaboration with suppliers to showcase the best North-east produce and leave a lasting impression on travellers through the lounge.

“The Scottish Thistle Awards give businesses and individuals working within tourism in Scotland the opportunity to earn the recognition and appreciation they deserve from their own industry peers.

“The impact of tourism goes far beyond the holiday experience. It is vital to the Scottish economy, reaching every corner of the country, creating jobs and bringing economic and social change.”

The 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards, in association with Fishers, rewards hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, visitor attractions, business and consumer events, and individuals going above and beyond to create a destination and visitor experience worth talking about amongst our valuable tourism industry.

Comedian Craig Hill co-hosted the evening with Heart Radio presenter and former Miss Scotland, Jennifer Reoch. Entertainment was provided by young musician Callum Beattie.

Rebecca Brooks, chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel and VisitScotland Board member, said: “The Scottish Thistle Awards 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.

“On behalf of the industry panel, I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all of the national winners of the 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards. These awards are firmly established within the tourism industry in Scotland and these winners should feel very proud to join the prestigious roll of honour that celebrates innovation, success and excellence in the Scottish hospitality and tourism sector.”

The Scottish Thistle Awards is led by a panel of industry experts from several organisations including VisitScotland, Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, sportscotland and Wild Scotland.

The regional finals were: Central, Fife & Tayside; Lothians & Borders; West; Highlands and Islands, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards; and Aberdeen City and Shire, organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards.

For more information on the winners, visit www.scottishthistleawards.co.uk

Scottish Thistle Awards National Final 2019/20 winners




Best Bar or Pub – sponsored by J Thomson Colour Printers

The Pot Still


Best Business Event - sponsored by P&J Live

All-Energy Exhibition and Conference 2019

Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow

Best Cultural Event or Festival

Paisley Halloween Festival


Best Heritage Tourism Experience – sponsored by Historic Environment Scotland

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

Alloway, Ayrshire

Best Hotel Experience – sponsored by Fishers

The Dunstane Houses


Best Informal Eating Experience

The Real Food Café

Tyndrum, Stirling

Best Outdoor or Adventure Experience

Land Rover Experience Scotland

Dunkeld, Perthshire

Best Restaurant Experience

l’escargot blanc


Best Self Catering Accommodation – sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers

Eagle Brae

Beauly, Inverness-shire

Best Sporting Event

Salomon Skyline Scotland 2018


Special Award

Solheim Cup

Best Visitor Attraction – sponsored by ScotRail

The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum


Inclusive Tourism – sponsored by The Cumberland

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018


Innovation in Tourism – sponsored by Geotourist

Invisible Cities


Most Hospitable B&B/ Guest House – sponsored by Abbey UK

Glenegedale House

Isle of Islay, Argyll & Bute

Tourism & Hospitality Hero

James Ryan, Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre


Working Together for Tourism

Aberdeen International Airport and its Northern Lights Lounge, food and drink suppliers


Silver Thistle – sponsored by Johnstons of Elgin

Brigadier David Allfrey


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