Kay and Gordon Pearson, WOW Scotland, winner of the Tourism Everyone’s Business category at HITA 2015

Winning an award means far more than just holding up a trophy. Our success at HITA 2015 has seen us benefit from improved brand recognition in the Highlands and Islands, particularly amongst other tour companies, restaurants and accommodation providers.

Tourism Everyone’s Business.WOW Scotland Tours, Inverness (from left) Gordon Pearson, Cllr Audrey Sinclair (Highland Council) and Kay Pearson.

This assists us when approaching potential partners for new tours, such as our Whisky Bus, as distilleries know our name and brand and, as such, are keen to work with us to provide unique experiences for our customers

A HITA triumph means being automatically shortlisted for the national Thistle Awards, which is very prestigious and we promote our shortlisting in our email signatures, on our website and on Facebook and Twitter.

Listing the achievement in the ‘media and awards’ section of our website provides our customers with another reason to book with us and gives them confidence that we are a professional and reputable company.

It is a great positive news story to share on social media, particularly Facebook, which appeals primarily to our previous customers, many of whom would now consider themselves friends of WOW Scotland.  When they join in the excitement this, in turn, gives potential customers an incentive to trust and book with us.

The HITA awards add to the credibility of the industry as a whole and encourage businesses to strive for excellence which should improve the experience for tourists.

Simply completing the application form makes us think about our achievements in the past year, which naturally leads to thoughts of how we can improve our business the following year. This can only be good for the industry.

By entering the awards, it shows that you really want to be at the forefront of your industry, and leading the way in providing excellent Highland hospitality.  Even if you are not shortlisted, by putting your company name out there in front of the judging panel you can start to gain more brand recognition.

No matter the size of a business, the awards are allocated based on the service, customer experience etc offered by that business, which is fantastic for businesses such as ours, who can be on a level playing field with large companies. This can be hugely helpful for small businesses as they have a chance to really shine in the company of their industry peers.

The HITA awards night is also an excellent opportunity for networking, and finding out about other forward-thinking businesses in the Highlands.

Tourism is vital to the Highlands and Islands economy, and HITA is vital to the continuing improvement of the tourism industry in the region.

The 2016 categories are –

  • Most Hospitable Hotel
  • Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House
  • Best Accommodation Provider
  • Best Informal Eating Experience
  • Best Restaurant Experience
  • Friendliest Pub/Bar
  • Best Cultural Event or Festival
  • Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience
  • Tourism and Hospitality Hero
  • Best Visitor Attraction
  • Working Together for Tourism
  • Best Sporting Event
  • Innovation in Tourism
  • Highland Rising Star
  • Highland Ambassador

Facebook –

Twitter – @HiTourismAwards

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