Tag: ScotlandIsNow

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DEADLINES LOOM FOR HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS TOURISM AWARDS

Businesses and individuals are being encouraged to put forward their nominations and entries for the prestigious Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards with the deadlines just days away.

The annual tourism ‘Oscars’, which were launched in March, celebrate and honour the best places to stay, eat and drink and enjoy the area’s history and culture.

This year 14 honours will be presented in what is regarded as one of the premier industry hospitality awards programmes in Scotland.

Friday, 22 June is the closing date for nominations in three categories – Tourism and Hospitality Hero, Highland Rising Star and Highland Ambassador.

The deadline for entries in all other categories is Monday, 2 July.

To nominate a deserving business or individual, or enter your own business without being nominated, visit the HITA website www.highland-tourism-awards.co.uk

The awards scheme, which is being held in association with SSEfor a sixth successive year, is free and is open to people operating in the Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Argyll & Bute (excluding G postcode areas) local authority areas.

The 2018 HITA aims to build on the success of last year’s awards which attracted a record 232 entries and nominations – an increase of more than 14 per cent on the 2016 figure and up 70 per cent on 2014.

 

HITA Chairman Craig Ewan said: “The Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards represent a mark of excellence for businesses and individuals working in this important sector.

“We want to ensure that everyone has a chance to be recognised for the tremendous work they do in welcoming our visitors and that means getting nominations and entries in by the deadlines. Good luck to everyone.”

The contest will culminate at a ceremony in the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, on Friday,2 November and winners (with the exception of the Highland Rising Star and Highland Ambassador) go on to compete at the glittering Scottish Thistle Awards next year.

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OXYGEN WORKS TO BENEFIT FROM TOURISM AWARDS GENEROSITY

A charity that has had a new lease of life since marking its 25th anniversary has received a cash award to help its further growth.

The Oxygen Works, created by the MS Therapy Centre, in Inverness, was the chosen charity at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) and £2,995 raised on the night has been handed over to the centre to help its life-changing services.

The Oxygen Works provides a range of treatments – including oxygen therapy, physiotherapy and massage and reflexology – to help people with a number of medical conditions, including multiple sclerosis, cancer, Parkinson’s and diabetes, as well as sports injuries.

It is the only facility of its kind in the UK providing such a range of therapies and services to a diverse population of individuals and uses the only oxygen chamber in the central Highlands of Scotland.

More than 500 centre members travel from across the Highlands and from as far afield as Aberdeen and the Outer
Hebrides, to use the facilities. Over its 25 years, staff have helped all ages, from an eight-month-old baby to a 99-year-old grandmother.

As part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, the centre in the city’s Burnett Road was re-branded as it improved and expanded its services.

Craig Ewan, HITA’s chairman, said: “The Oxygen Works does fantastic work for so many people with different conditions and we are delighted to be able to help its ongoing work.”

Leigh-Ann Little, the centre manager, said: “We are extremely grateful to HITA for such a generous donation.
“The centre is going from strength to strength and this money will assist us in our ongoing efforts to help as many people as possible.”

HITA 2018 was launched in March and aims to build on the success of last year’s awards which attracted an unprecedented 232 entries and nominations – an increase of more than 14 per cent on the 2016 figure and up 70 per cent on 2014.

The competition, which is being held in association with SSE for a sixth successive year, will crown winners in 14 categories, with the best places to stay, eat and drink and enjoy the area’s outdoors and musical culture among those to be honoured.

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HITA IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF DRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE

Rebecca Brooks, VisitScotland Board Member and Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel.

To win a Highlands and Islands Tourism Award is something to be proud of. Not only are you the best in the region but you have the honour of representing the area at the glittering national final.

The 2017/18 Scottish Thistle Awards National Final, which marked the competition’s silver anniversary, was a time to reflect on those individuals, events and businesses who have shown leadership in the sector.

To have four HITA winners pick up national Thistle Awards was a fantastic achievement for the individua businesses and for the region. My congratulations to Eilean Donan Castle, the Hebridean Celtic Festival, the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and Portavadie for their success, and to all those who won through to the national final.

The Scottish tourism industry and hospitality sector prides itself on delivering a rewarding experience for visitors.

Our reputation as a world-class destination relies on continued investment and innovation and for the past 25 years the Scottish Thistle Awards has shone a spotlight on the success, innovation and excellence that our Scottish tourism industry delivers.

We need to think bigger about Scotland as a tourism destination to ensure we fulfil our potential – every visitor must get a quality experience every single time.

The Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) is an important part of that drive for excellence and last year’s winners reflected the strength and depth at both a regional and national level.

This year is the 2018 Year of Young People. Over the 12 months Scotland will offer inspiration through its young people by celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine on a local and global stage.

As well as providing opportunities for the industry to engage with families and younger visitors through a year-long programme of events, it is also a time to celebrate the young talented individuals within Scottish tourism. For they are our aspiring Scottish Thistle Award winners of the future.

Good luck to everyone who enters or is nominated for HITA recognition this year and we look forward to seeing you at the Thistles.

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