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Scottish Thistle Awards Celebrate Tourism Excellence: Arden Holiday Cottage Takes National Award for Best Self-Catering Experience

In a night filled with accolades, Arden Holiday Cottage, in Dumfries and Galloway, was awarded the title of Best Self-Catering Experience in Scotland at the recent National Scottish Thistle Awards. Adding to the celebration, Airhouses, a long-standing member of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC), secured the prestigious Best Luxury Experience Award.

The ceremony, held at the Glasgow Hilton on Friday, December 1, saw 18 businesses and individuals recognised for their outstanding contributions to Scotland’s tourism and events industry. The awards, delivered with support from headline sponsor Johnstons of Elgin and in partnership with News Scotland, aimed to acknowledge excellence, collaboration, and innovation fostering responsible industry growth.

Highlights from the Scottish Thistle Awards:

  1. Silver Thistle Award: Wilma and David Finlay, partners in Rainton Farm in Dumfries & Galloway, received the Silver Thistle Award for their outstanding and pioneering contributions to ethical agricultural practices and responsible tourism.
  2. Climate Action Award: Wilderness Scotland, based in Aviemore, won the inaugural Climate Action Award for their exemplary progress on the journey to net zero. The company also received the Best Outdoor or Adventure Experience Award.
  3. Best Luxury Experience Award: Airhouses, a family business in the heart of the Scottish Borders, earned recognition for their self-catering accommodation, providing a luxurious experience while actively engaging with the local community and promoting fair employment.
  4. Outstanding Sporting and Cultural Events: The Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club received the award for Outstanding Sporting Event, and the Fringe by the Sea festival in North Berwick was crowned Outstanding Cultural Event. Both events demonstrated significant economic and cultural contributions to their respective regions.
  5. Tourism Individual of the Year: Melanie Allen, proprietor of Nithbank Country Estate in Dumfries & Galloway, received the Tourism Individual of the Year award and was also recognized for the Best B&B or Guest House Experience, showcasing her influential leadership and ambassadorial role in enhancing the visitor experience.

The diverse array of winners, including The Cross Keys Inn, Edinbane Lodge, Cromlix, and Sea Life, Loch Lomond, underscored the rich tapestry of Scotland’s tourism landscape. The awards ceremony celebrated not only individual accomplishments but also the collective efforts of the entire Scottish tourism community, contributing to the nation’s vibrant and thriving tourism sector.



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