WHO ARE YOUR HIGHLAND TOURISM HEROES?
Which person or business goes that extra mile to promote the area? Offers a service that is second to none? Or just makes a visit to the area that little bit more special?
If you haven’t already nominated your favourite individual, attraction, event or venue in the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) 2015 there is still time before the deadline on Monday, 18 May.
There are awards in 15 categories up for grabs, with the best places to stay, eat and drink and enjoy the area’s sporting and musical culture among those to be honoured.
The awards scheme, which is held in association with SSE, is free and businesses or individuals can either be nominated or put themselves forward for recognition. Visitors and peer nomination groups are being encouraged to propose businesses they feel deserve an honour, although success will not be based on the number of nominations made.
The categories have developed and evolved each year in line with feedback within the industry and to reflect factors aimed at helping its growth and sustainability.
New categories this year are Friendliest Pub, Best Sporting Event, Hospitality Hero and the Innovation Award.
The awards event, which was launched last month by Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, will culminate in a grand ceremony at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness on 13 November.
Marina Huggett, Chair of HITA, said:
“We have been encouraged by the number of people and businesses which have entered or been nominated for awards so far, but there is still time for others to be recognised.
“The Highlands and Islands are full of talented people who are constantly working to improve the service we offer to our visitors. We want to ensure these people are recognised for pushing the boundaries of excellence and ensuring the industry benefits now and in the future.
“By nominating your favourite person, place or event you are not only helping reward individual achievement, but also assisting efforts to further enhance our quality product in this part of Scotland.”
The HITA awards is an industry-led scheme representing all sectors of tourism. It is also supported by VisitScotland, Calor, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council, Loch Ness by Jacobite, Inverness Hotels Association, the Federation of Small Businesses, Ritsons, J Thomson, Scottish Provincial Press, Macleod and MacCallum and Lucid PR.
It is overseen by a voluntary board of directors who, with the judging panel, have more than 450 years of tourism industry experience.
The independent judging panel is drawn from experienced industry professionals working across the region.
The categories are –
Most Hospitable Hotel
Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House
Best Holiday Accommodation
Best Informal Eating Experience
Best Restaurant Experience
Best Event or Festival
Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience
Tourism Everyone’s Business
Best Visitor Attraction
Best Sporting Event
Regional Young Ambassador Award
Regional Ambassador Award
Facebook – www.facebook.com/Highlands.and.Islands.Tourism.Awards
Twitter – @HiTourismAwards