Who deserves a tourism award for putting our area on the map?

Peter Wilson of Cruise Forth was one of last year's winners with his business being commended for putting the customer at the centre of every experience
Peter Wilson of Cruise Forth was one of last year's winners with his business being commended for putting the customer at the centre of every experience

Do you know anyone who goes that extra mile to help shape the future of the tourism industry in your local area?

The Scottish Thistle Awards are Scotland’s premier awards for the tourism industry.

For the past 25 years, more than 360 national winners from across the country have been crowned at the event.

They also offer the opportunity to recognise those people who have made valuable contributions to Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry.

Now you have the chance to recognise the efforts of someone here for all the hard work that goes into making a success of tourism in your local are by putting forward their nomination.

The Regional Ambassador category is for people 31 years and over who have dedicated their time and energy to making a difference to tourism in their local area.

The Tourism & Hospitality Hero award celebrates an individual on the front line of the customer service experience.

From tour guides to front of house staff, this award recognises the huge number of people who unlock something special for every visitor by providing exceptional service and a personal touch.

The HIT Scotland Regional Rising Star award is open to all young people aged 30 and under, who demonstrate the passion, ambition and dedication to have successful careers within the tourism industry.

Winners of this award also receive a HIT Scotland scholarship, tailored to their own development needs, to help them achieve their goals.

David Cochrane, HIT Scotland chief executive, said: “The Thistle Awards Rising Star award is a great way for Scotland to shout about the emerging talent of the hospitality and tourism industry, and we’re delighted to provide a HIT Scotland scholarship to the regional winners.

“This learning experience will be tailored to their development needs, and inspire them to take their career to the next level, helping us showcase the best of Scotland to its many visitors.”

Rebecca Brooks, chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards industry panel, said: “The Scottish Thistle Awards is a chance to celebrate those who work tirelessly to ensure that all visitors, whether from Scotland or further afield, enjoy a truly memorable experience.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience, it creates jobs and sustains communities. I’m delighted that these awards continue to recognise the shining lights within our industry.

“Even without a nomination, our fantastic Scottish tourism businesses can put themselves forward, so we would urge them to go online, find out what category or categories they think best represents them and enter.”

Nominations close on June 22 with the deadline for entries on June 29 .

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, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, sportscotland and Wild Scotland.

For more information about the awards visit www.scottishthistleawards.co.uk.