With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.
The Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA) are heading into the finishing straight, and those who want to enter the prestigious scheme are being urged to get a sprint on to beat the fast-approaching deadline.
Entries close later this month on June 30, and ACSTA organisers are sounding a final call to businesses and individuals across the region to ensure they are part of the annual showcase of top tourism talent.
The awards – now in their fourth year – celebrate the very best of the area’s tourism offering, from restaurants and pubs to hotels and guest houses.
There are also accolades for top events and visitor attractions, and a brand new category for best sports event.
Individuals who make a real difference to the experience of tourists – whether they are visiting for business or leisure – will also be recognised with sections for hospitality heroes, rising stars and local ambassadors.
ACSTA chairman Peter Sangster says the competition is heating up, but organisers want to see even more entries to ensure those who are making a significant impression on the tourism sector get credit where it is deserved.
“The awards are not just for large operators and hotels that are part of a national or multi-national chains – this is about recognising those who go the extra mile to provide excellent service regardless of their size.
“We sometimes hear that operators have not entered because they are small in comparison to other entrants. That’s irrelevant, as what we are interested in hearing about is what they do improve the tourism offering, not how many covers they seat or what their turnover is.
“Over the past three years we have had a wide variety of winners, from charities and community groups to national chains. There is a huge benefit to taking part as even being shortlisted shows customers that a very high quality experience is being offered.
“The awards are completely free to enter, so there is absolutely nothing to lose. With the addition of the new category this year for sporting events, there is now even wider scope for operators to showcase what they provide. I would urge anyone who has not already entered not to delay and make sure their nomination is with us before the June 30 deadline.”
Entrants in each category will be shortlisted, and those who are finalists will go before an interview panel or have an undercover visit from the judging panel. ACSTA is a regional heat for the national tourism Oscars – the Scottish Thistle Awards – and winners will go on to represent the north east in that event in 2017.
The full list of awards categories is:
- Most Hospitable Hotel
- Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House
- Best Accommodation Provider (previously Best Holiday Accommodation)
- Best Informal Eating Experience
- Best Restaurant Experience
- Friendliest Pub/Bar
- Best Cultural Event or Festival
- Best Sporting Event
- Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience
- Working Together for Tourism
- Best Visitor Attraction
- Tourism and Hospitality Hero
- Innovation in Tourism Award
- Regional Rising Star (age -30)
- Regional Ambassador (age 31+)
Entry into the awards is free and can be made at www.acsta.co.uk. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony and gala dinner at Ardoe House Hotel in Aberdeen on November 25, 2016.