The north-east’s hospitality industry was celebrating last week after picking up two awards in the nation’s tourism Oscars.
Eat on the Green and Meldrum House Country Hotel and Golf Course helped to put the region on the map by fending off competition from across Scotland at the Scottish Thistle Awards.
Udny Green-based Eat on the Green picked up the national award for best eating experience, while Meldrum House Hotel at Oldmeldrum was named most hospitable hotel.
There was also special commendation in the best cultural event or festival for street art festival Nuart.
Now other operators and individuals have the chance to follow suit by entering the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA) which opened for nominations last week.
The scheme acts as a regional final of the Scottish Thistle Awards, meaning that local winners go on to represent the area nationally.
The annual awards aim to highlight business and individuals that are helping the tourism sector to thrive, attracting visitors to the area and ensuring the very best possible standards of customer care and service.
There are 16 categories in this year’s awards which look at every element of the tourism industry from accommodation and food to festivals and partnership initiatives. There are also individual awards for those who go the extra mile for visitors.
ACSTA chairman Stephen Gow said: “It was wonderful to see the north east taking centre stage at the Scottish Thistle Awards.
“It was an incredibly proud moment and goes to underline that we have the best of the best right here on our own local doorstep.
“Tourism businesses in the north east are rising to the challenge of working together to promote the region to new and repeat visitors from across Scotland, the UK and international locations.
“They are developing new business proposals, investing in infrastructure, raising the bar on what they can offer, and training staff to deliver exceptional customer services.
“There is an incredible amount of good work going on, and ACSTA aims to recognise those that are at the very top of their game.”
The awards are suitable for businesses of all sizes, for independent operators as well as venues that operate as part of a chain.
There is no cost to entering and the application process involves answering only three questions.
“Aberdeen city and shire’s tourism industry has come a long way in the past decade and continues to thrive and perform at the highest possible level. We are lucky to have some of the country’s best venues and individuals right here and ACSTA will give them well-deserved time in the spotlight,” added Mr Gow.
Entries for ACSTA are open now at www.acsta.co.uk. Finalists will be named in the late summer.