We are excited to announce this year’s finalists in 15 categories, each in the running to receive a coveted 2013 HITA award at the ceremony and dinner to be held on 4 October in Inverness.

Our eight year old regional tourism awards programme received more entries this year than ever before and the judging panel emphasised the volume of quality submissions, identifying the 2013 short listing process as the most competitive yet.

Best Bar, Café or Restaurant Award

–          Café Artysans, Inverness

–          Cups Tearoom, Scrabster

–          Glencoe Café, Glencoe

Best Cultural Event Award

–          The Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Inverness-shire

–          The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, Elgin

–          The Tiree Music Festival, Tiree

Best Guest House or B & B Award

–          Distant Hills Guest House, Spean Bridge

–          Sandown House, Nairn

–          Wemyss House, Tain

Best Hotel Award

–          Duisdale House Hotel, Isle of Skye

–          Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness

–          Premier Inn Inverness Centre (River Ness), Inverness

Best Nature Based Experience Award

–          Aigas Field Centre, Inverness-shire

–          Highlands Unbridled, Brora

–          Scottish Dolphin Centre, Fochabers

Best Self-Serve Accommodation Award

–          Isle of Skye Yachts, Isle of Skye

–          The Brochs of Coigach, Ross-shire

–          Whitefalls Spa Lodges, Isle of Lewis

Best Shopping Experience Award

–          Dornoch Luckenbooth, Dornoch

–          Johnstons of Elgin, Elgin

–          The Drawing Room, Inverness

Best Sporting Event Award

–          Global Energy Inverness Half Marathon, Inverness

–          Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland’s Culloden Run, Inverness

Best Visitor Attraction Award

–          Glenlivet Distillery Visitor Centre, Ballindalloch

–          Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, Loch Ness

–          The Glenfiddich Distillery, Dufftown

Marketing Campaign of the Year Award

–          Highland Wildlife Park, Kingussie

–          Hilton Coylumbridge, Aviemore

–          Wilderness Scotland, Aviemore

Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award

–          Boots N Paddles / TreeZone, Inverness

–          Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness

–          Highland Experience Tours, Highland-wide

Training and Skills Development Award

–          Frankie’s Fish and Chips, Shetland

–          Mackays Hotel, Wick

–          Wilderness Scotland, Aviemore

Best Tour Operator Programme of the Year Award

–          Highland Experience Tours, Highland-wide

–          McKinlay Kidd, Highland-wide

–          Wilderness Scotland, Aviemore

Best Partnership in Tourism Award

–          Highland Experience Tours, Highland-wide

–          Lark and Lily Designs, Wick

Highlands and Islands Young Ambassador of the Year

–          Andrew Whitehouse, Café Artysans, Inverness

–          Angus MacLeod, Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness

–          Claire MackIntosh, Ramada Encore Hotel, Inverness

–          Gordon Pearson, WOW Scotland, Inverness

The winner of the Highlands and Islands Ambassador of the Year award will be announced at the ceremony and dinner along with the winners of the aforementioned shortlisted on 4 October 2013 at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness.

Through HITA’s partnership with VisitScotland and the alignment of both awards programme’s categories, each of the HITA 2013 winners will automatically be given a place on the shortlist of Visit Scotland’s national tourism awards scheme, the Scottish Thistle Awards*, providing the opportunity for HITA winners to be acknowledged nationally for their achievements in tourism.

The HITA ceremony and gala dinner tickets cost £80 +VAT and are available by contacting 01224 646488 or email amanda@primeeventmanagement.com  or log on to www.highland-tourism-awards.co.uk

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