Two distilleries are pouring celebratory drams after being named as finalists in a high-profile tourism awards scheme. Glen Garioch Distillery near Oldmeldrum and Glendronach Distillery near Huntly have both been shortlisted for Best Visitor Attraction category in the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards.
The awards, organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels’ Association, recognise and reward excellence in the regions’ tourism and hospitality sectors.
Glen Garioch prides itself in providing a world-class visitor experience with passionate staff and quality products. The distillery operates tours which allows visitors to see time-honoured skills in action and hear directly from those involved in the production.
GlenDronach Distillery has seen an impressive 51% increase in visitors over an 18 month period due to the bespoke experience provided to its visitors. Three different tours are available depending on the whisky knowledge of this in the group. Visitors even has the opportunity to fill their own bottle of malt from the Manager’s Cask.
ACSTA chairman Iain Watson says, “We set up ACSTA because we believed that tourism providers in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are providing an incredible experience for visitors to the region. Entries for this year’s awards are up by 25%, and the number of quality applications we received this year only goes to strengthen that belief.
“Whisky is synonymous with Scotland with this region, and we are delighted to see these two distilleries working so hard to ensure that visitors return home with fantastic memories of such an iconic Scottish product.
“Aberdeen City and Shire has so much to offer visitors, including world-class golf, shopping and leisure attractions as well as accommodation and fantastic transport links. We are delighted to be able to celebrate those who go the extra mile for their customers in the north east of Scotland.”
Nominations for ACSTA were opened in July 2014, with entries being accepted in 14 categories ranging from Best Hotel and Friendliest Pub/Bar to Green Tourism and Creative Ambition. Two additional categories were introduced, and the sections were aligned with the national VisitScotland-backed scheme, The Scottish Thistle Awards. It is intended that ACSTA will become adopted as the regional final for the Scottish Thistle Awards by 2016.
Final judging will take place before the end of the year and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa in Aberdeen on January 30, 2015. Host for the evening will be broadcaster Tam Cowan.
Further information about the awards is available at www.acsta.co.uk