Tourism operator awards return for second year

Tourism is big business in the North-east.
Tourism is big business in the North-east.

An awards scheme that recognises exceptional tourism operators in the North-east is returning for a second year.

The number of categories in the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA) has been increased to 14 from 12 and have been aligned to the national industry scheme, the Scottish Thistle Awards.

Awards organiser Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels’ Association (ACSHA) is appealing to businesses and individuals to enter and show how they do their bit to ensure visitors return home with fond memories of their time in the region.

ACSTA chairman Iain Watson says he hopes operators will respond to the call for entries. He says: “The number of entrants to the inaugural awards last year took us all by surprise, as did the quality of the entries received.

“It left us in no doubt that there are some truly exceptional businesses and individuals making positive differences to the quality of the visitor experience, and that we should be doing all we can to encourage them and other like-minded operators.”

He adds:“We have aligned many of our categories to the Scottish Thistle Awards and it is our intention that ACSTA will become the north east regional heat of this national scheme by 2016.”

Entries are now open at and will close on September 16. Three entries will be shortlisted for each category and the winners will be announced at a ceremony at Mercure Ardoe House in Aberdeen on January 30, 2015.