Excellence in the visitor attractions sector in Scotland has been recognised in the 2016 ASVA (Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions) awards, presented at ASVA’s ‘Achieving Excellence’ conference at The Crieff Hydro Hotel in Perthshire on 10th November.
The Real Mary King’s Close won joint top prize in the ‘Marketing’ category for the campaign to promote its ‘Perfect Blend’ whisky experience. The event took guests back in time on the streets beneath the Royal Mile where they uncovered Edinburgh’s incredible hidden history whilst getting to sample and gain an insight into Scotland’s national drink.
Joint winner alongside The Real Mary King’s Close was Historic Environment Scotland for its ‘Best Days Ever’ campaign, which sought to drive online membership sales to the family audience and the over-55’s market using innovative new social media platforms.
The Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) won the ‘Best Visitor Experience’ award, sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia. Entries in this category were assessed on all aspects of the layout and content of the attraction and on the ‘experience’ offered, in particular the quality of interaction between staff and visitors.
Melissa Reilly, Marketing and PR Officer at New Lanark World Heritage Trust, was announced as the winner of the ‘Rising Star’ Award. The award honours her significant contribution to New Lanark and the wider Scottish tourism industry. In winning the award, Melissa beat off stiff competition from runners-up Yaz Khan, Sales & Membership Manager at Glasgow Science Centre, and Jessica Rideout, PR Executive at The Real Mary King’s Close, who were both ‘Highly Commended’.
ASVA Chairman Douglas Walker said: “Our award winners are all setting a fantastic example, by bringing the ‘wow’ factor to Scottish tourism and exceeding expectations by providing a truly world class visitor experience. Going forward, the future for the visitor attractions sector in Scotland looks very bright, with this wonderful pool of talent”.
Addressing conference delegates, John Thurso, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland’s visitor economy causes a ripple effect that touches every industry, business and community in the country. Our world-leading attractions have a vital role to play in the continued growth of the tourism industry, and I would like to congratulate each of the winners whose excellence in this sector has been recognised.”
Links to winning attractions can be found at: www.asva.co.uk