Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards
Island music festival blows away competition
During this year’s Tiree Music Festival more than 1,000 people had to be evacuated from the site because of strong winds. A huge response from the community and local businesses helped find shelter for festival-goers in schools, the island airport and people’s homes so the event was able to continue.
The festival, which attracted a sell-out 1,700 audience – more than three times the island population – has been voted Best Cultural Event or Festival at the annual Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards.
And in a double success for the island, the Tiree Wave Classic windsurfing event also won HITA’s new Best Sporting Event category,
The awards were presented last night by Fergus Ewing, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, at a ceremony in the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness.
In all, 15 tourism businesses and individuals were crowned winners at the event which was hosted by celebrity chef Tony Singh.
Mr Ewing said: “The Highlands and Islands boast some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery and exciting events and these awards recognise the wealth of experience, the commitment and excellence of tourism operators in the region.
“I commend the hard work and commitment of everyone who extends a warm welcome and high standard of service to Scotland’s visitors. While Tiree in particular can celebrate a deserved double win, I congratulate all of this year’s winners and send best wishes for a long, enjoyable and worthwhile career in tourism and hospitality.”
Marina Huggett, chairman of HITA, said: “Well done to all this year’s winners who are all outstanding in their categories. The record number of entries and nominations we received this year and the exceptionally high standards throughout the contest made it extremely difficult for the judges to pick winners.”
The HITA winners will represent the region at the national final of the Scottish Thistle Awards next year.
Best Cultural Event or Festival
Tiree Music Festival
Best Holiday Accommodation
Torrisdale Castle Estate, Kintyre
Best Informal Eating Experience
Mountain Café, Aviemore
Best Outdoor / Adventure Experience
Best Restaurant Experience
Ninth Wave Restaurant, Mull
Best Sporting Event
Tiree Wave Classic
Best Visitor Attraction
Aberlour Distillery, Speyside
Friendliest Pub / Bar
Applecross Inn, Wester Ross
Emma Clark, Glenegedale House, Islay
North Highland Initiative
Most Hospitable B&B / Guest House
Most Hospitable Hotel
Kylesku Hotel, Sutherland
Tourism Everyone’s Business
WOW Scotland Tours Ltd, Inverness
Young Ambassador of the Year
Kyle Beattie, Boots N Paddles, Inverness
Ambassador of the Year
Calum Ross, Loch Melfort Hotel, Oban