Angus businesses are among those from across Scotland which have been shortlisted for a top tourism award in a record-breaking year for entries.
The Royal Arch pub, Vision Mechanics for DragonQuest at Monikie, Newton Farm Holidays at Inverarity and Forbes of Kingennie near Wellbank have made it through to the regional finals of The Scottish Thistle Awards, which will take place in November.
Now in their 24th year, tourism’s equivalent of the Oscars, celebrate innovation, excellence and quality in the industry and winners will be announced at the Central, Fife & Tayside Regional Final at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh on November 10, hosted by TV presenter and former Miss Scotland, Jennifer Reoch.
This year the awards received a record-breaking number of entries, totalling 715 across the 15 regional categories, amounting to a 16 per cent increase on last year.
Entrants were shortlisted by a panel of industry experts and regional winners will go on to the national final which will be held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre in March.
The awards recognise hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, visitor attractions and individuals who go the extra mile to provide customers with exceptional service.
This year’s competition is the first to be overseen by Rebecca Brooks, the new chairwoman of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel and VisitScotland board member.
Ms Brooks said: “The Scottish tourism industry and hospitality sector prides itself on delivering a rewarding experience for visitors and we are delighted to recognise those deserving nominees for their dedication to quality.
“Tourism is more than a holiday experience; it creates jobs and sustains communities in every corner of Scotland all year round and is at the heart of our country’s economy.”
Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland regional director also emphasised the importance of tourism to the local area and to the whole of Scotland in general.
He said: “Tourism is at the heart of the area’s economic success and the number of nominees shortlisted illustrates the high quality visitor experience on offer.
“I wish all businesses and events shortlisted the best of luck in the regional final.”
For further information about the awards. or to book a place at the regional finals, go to www.scottishthistleawards.co.uk