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Published on : Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Host for the evening was the glamorous Lorraine Kelly who was on hand to present the awards at the glittering ceremony. VisitScotland honoured those at the top of the tourism game in 14 different categories. Among the winners were The Glenlivet Distillery and Visitor Centre, Tiree Music Festival and Wilderness Scotland.
Winner of this year’s prestigious Silver Thistle Award, awarded to those for outstanding contribution to the country’s tourism industry went to Stephen Leckie, Chief Executive of Crieff Hydro and Chairman of Scottish Tourism Alliance.
Stephen is a ‘well kent face’ in tourism circles as both the Chairman of the Scottish Tourism Alliance and also through his work at Crieff Hydro where he has been at the helm for nearly two decades. Stephen also chairs the Crieff Community Council, the Tourism Leadership Group; he is a committee member of the British Hospitality Association, President and Director of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and Deputy Lieutenant of Perth & Kinross.
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:
“It is with great pleasure that I’m awarding this year’s Silver Thistle Award to Stephen. His outstanding contribution to tourism for the majority of his working life means there is no one more fitting than him to be recognised for this award. Stephen has committed his life to ensure that tourism at both a local and national level is the best it can be, he doesn’t just meet expectations he always goes above and beyond them.
“As we prepare to welcome the world to these shores next year, I rest easy knowing that we have the calibre of the likes of Stephen doing an outstanding job. Without doubt he is a shining light for tourism and I look forward to working with him for many years to come.”
Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing said:
“I’d like to congratulate all the finalists and of course the winners this evening. The Thistle Awards come at an exciting and historic time for tourism in Scotland.
“In the next year, Homecoming Scotland 2014 will position Scotland on the international stage as a dynamic and creative nation. It will extend the benefits and opportunities offered by the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup by presenting a year-long, co-ordinated programme of events designed to generate pride in the people of Scotland and welcome visitors around the world in a celebration of some of Scotland’s greatest assets.
“The year-long programme of events planned across the country will celebrate the very best of Scotland’s food and drink, our assets as a country of natural beauty as well as our rich creativity and cultural and ancestral heritage. Which is why Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 has named Scotland as the third best country to visit in 2014 citing Scotland’s jam-packed schedule of world-class events as reasons to visit in the coming year.”
The Scottish Thistle Awards, which are among the most sought-after accolades in the tourism industry, celebrate quality and innovation across a range of categories. The awards are widely viewed as the official mark of excellence and professionalism, recognising and rewarding excellence in Scotland’s tourism industry in all areas and at all levels.
Mike continued: “I’m delighted and extremely excited to be part of the Thistle Awards national final, held at Stirling Castle for the first time.
“Congratulations to all finalists and of course the winners this evening. We’ve a lot to look forward to in 2014 and with the help of all those in attendance tonight from across Scotland, I’m positive we’re going to make a success of it.
“Tourism is riding on the crest of a wave at the moment with accolades coming in from around the world. One of the major contributing factors is the people here, those at the forefront of the tourism industry.
“The dedication and commitment of the people here tonight is the driving force behind Scotland’s success and I’m extremely proud and privileged to be part of it.
Source:- Visit Scotland