Excellence in the visitor attractions sector in Scotland has been recognised in the 2017 ASVA (Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions) awards, presented at ASVA’s ‘Great Expectations’ conference at The Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort in Cumbernauld on 9th November.
National Museums Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Royal Collection Trust (Palace of Holyroodhouse), and National Trust for Scotland joined forces to win top prize in the ‘Marketing’ category for ‘On the trail of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites’, a campaign which sought to drive footfall to their attractions by harnessing the appeal of the Jacobites' story.
Runners-up in the marketing category were RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, for ‘Have you seen our cats?’, a summer-long campaign celebrating the rarest and most iconic big cats that call RZSS Edinburgh Zoo home, and New Lanark Visitor Centre, for ‘Brick City at New Lanark’, an exhibition showcasing LEGO model of famous landmarks around the world.
Entries for this award were open to individual attractions, or groups of attractions working together, that could demonstrate good use of marketing channels, disciplines and technology together with effective measurement of results.
Oban Distillery Visitor Centre won the ‘Best Visitor Experience’ award, sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia, with Cardhu Distillery and Blair Castle taking the runners-up spots. 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.
Alison Shearer, Visitor Experience Support & Recruitment Co-ordinator at The Scotch Whisky Experience, was announced as the winner of the ‘Rising Star’ Award. The award honours her significant contribution to The Scotch Whisky Experience and the wider Scottish tourism industry. In winning the award, Alison beat off stiff competition from runners-up Jennifer Stewart, Communications and Ecommerce Manager, Glasgow School of Art, and Vanessa Wegstein, Digital Marketing Officer at The Abbotsford Trust, 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”.