Award Categories

General Information - All Awards

The whole thrust of the industry's 2020 Strategy is maximising the potential of our Scottish assets to create rich experiences for visitors.  In 2014, the Judges are focusing on the customer experience.  They are looking for ways in which the people in Scottish business have used our nature, heritage and ingenuity to "go the extra mile" for visitors in creating something particularly positive in terms of customer service excellence.

Who should enter: 
Everyone who is excited by something they have done over the last 18 months that puts smiles on customers' faces!

What the judges are looking for:
Judges look for a simple and straight-forward application that is readable and understandable.
They score tangible evidence from real actions, and of course their eye is on the positive impact this has on the customer experience.

Most Hospitable Hotel

The accommodation sector is a really important part of Scotland's visitor economy. The hotel experience is often the key contributor to our many visitors lasting impressions of Scotland. This award recognises those that strive to ensure the best of Scottish hospitality through service is a priority in their hotel

Who should enter: 
For hotels that demonstrate exemplary levels of customer service and satisfaction and most importantly offer  memorable and authentic hospitality

What the judges are looking for:
A demonstrable approach to hospitality, a proven track record and real examples of exceptional customer care and Scottish hospitality.  Evidence that provides both qualitative and quantitative measures.

Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House

This award recognises those at the front line of Scotland's Hospitality reputation. Those people through their business  approach that have led the way to deliver the warmest  service and the best customer care making their guest's stay in Scotland  a  happy and memorable experience.  Scotland's visitors have global choice and the wining people and business will have recognised this and planned ways to keep surprising their guest and exceeding their expectations whilst keeping value firmly in mind...This category celebrates the finest examples of our region's renowned reputation for the warmth of welcome and the genuine service given to people.  For guest houses and B&Bs that demonstrate heart-warming levels of customer service and genuine satisfaction.

Who should enter:
Any business that considers itself a Guest House or B&B.  and offers authentic and a genuinely warm hospitality

What the judges are looking for:
A clear plan and ethos, a proven track record and examples of exceptional customer care and hospitality Examples that provide both qualitative and quantitative measures.

Best Holiday Accommodation


This award recognises the core business objectives of service industry providers in service, customer care, and creating a stay comprised of memorable experiences for visitors.  To meet increasing customer demands and to sustain a competitive attitude, we must work more effectively and continue to meet customer expectations. 
Holiday accommodation covers a wide variety of customer expectations and requirements designed to allow Scotland's guests to tailor their stay around their needs.
Serviced apartments, hostels, camping facilities, yachts - in fact anywhere a guest of Scotland can stay, all provide very different experiences, but what is shared between them is the understanding that their guests look to them to provide the most authentic and best holiday accommodation for their needs. 
This category is looking for a business that is committed to that understanding and looks at all times to exceed their customer expectations.

This category celebrates the finest examples of our region's renowned reputation of welcome, authentic service and experience to the visitor. 

Who should enter: 
If you offer overnight accommodation but are not a hotel, guest house or B&B - then this award is for you!

What the judges are looking for:
A clear plan, a proven track record and examples of exceptional customer care. Evidence that provides both qualitative and quantitative measures.

Best Informal Eating Experience

Visitors pop into a good number of café's and informal eating places during their visit to Scotland.
 This sector is really important to the overall reputation of Scotland hospitality and the awards celebrate the importance of ?casual? dining across Scotland.

This award recognises the Scottish people and business that gives our visitors the best and most authentic "flavour" of Scotland's Hospitality through its service approach and its approach to its food offering. 

Who should enter: 
Any business where the focus is food and that doesn't consider itself a more formal restaurant.

Open to cafes, bars, Inns, "pier side vans" ? anywhere a visitor to Scotland can enjoy service , food and hospitality in an informal setting

What the judges are looking for: 

A clear plan on what service means to the business and a plan on how the food concept matches the service.

A buzz about the place, that makes visitors smile, relax and enjoy  their experience

Best Restaurant Experience

This category celebrates the finest examples of Scotland's renowned reputation for excellent food service and consistently delivering great experiences.

Who should enter:
It is open to restaurants of any size.  

What the judges are looking for:
A clear plan, a proven track record of exceptional customer care and innovative approach to delivering an excellent experience. Evidence that provides  both qualitative and quantitative measures.

Friendliest Pub/Bar

A new award for Scotland in 2014, and thus a particularly high-profile goes to all those shortlisted!
A good proportion of Scotland's visitors will experience a pub or bar during their stay, and a hospitable welcome can make a positive difference to any day.  This award celebrates the key role of the bar in the fabric of Scotland's hospitality reputation.

Who should enter:
If you consider your main activity is a pub or bar - this could be the category for you!

What the judges are looking for:
A simple explanation of what makes you so "friendly", and why you think you should win the award.
As well as the "story", some quantitative information helps judge's award scores.

Best Event or Festival

Events and festivals are extremely important to Scotland. Successful events attract large volumes of visitors, generate significant economic and media profile, and inspire and involve local communities.

 This category is open to events of any type that take place at a national and/or international level across Scotland.

Who should enter:
Organisers of new or established local, regional or international events of any size.  Please note that the event must have taken place within 12 months of the application date and outcomes should be known at the time of submission.

What the judges are looking for:
Evidence of media attention, local collaborations and the benefits to Scotland's visitor economy.

Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience

This category celebrates businesses that are utilising Scotland's natural assets and turning them into authentic quality experiences which delight the customer.
Outdoor & Adventure Tourism is a key part of the visitor ecoonomy sector and this category celebrates the role of businesses that focus on the outdoors/adventure.

Who should enter: 

Businesses large and small that provide outdoor or adventure experiences and have a focus on delivering real customer satisfaction.

What the judges are looking for:
An application that demonstrates how the business manages to "wow" the customer. Qualitative and quantitative examples of exceeding visitor expectations time and time again.

Our Warmest Welcome

An award for a business or organisation or collaboration leading the field in delivering extraordinary customer satisfaction and a real Scottish welcome.  

Who should enter:  
This category is for community tourism, destination management organisations, destination marketing companies, transport operators, retail and entertainment venues.  If you believe that ?tourism is everyone?s business? ? this might be the category for you!

What the judges are looking for:  
A clear strategy around working with partners to develop an experience that can be measured by ?warmth of welcome?. Showing a proven track record of exceptional customer care and innovative approach to delivering an excellent Scottish hospitality experience.
Examples that provide both qualitative and quantitative measures.

Best Visitor Attraction

Visitor attractions are a vital contributor to Scotland's hospitality reputation - drawing visitors from both national and international markets.
 Attractions provide memorable and authentic  times for visitors through their commitment to delivering high quality, innovative and sustainable world class yet local experiences.

Who should enter:
For visitor attractions that demonstrate exemplary levels of customer service, customer satisfaction and a business commitment to hospitality. This category is open to visitor attractions of all kinds and sizes.

What the judges are looking for:
Judges are looking for businesses that have delivered something exceptional in relation to customer service, over the last eighteen months. Quantification is key, alongside the qualitative information.

Discovering Scotland Award

Great customer service is so often up to individual people.  Across Scotland, there are a huge number of individuals who ?gift? something special for the visitor and seem to unlock magic.  This award is about recognising them and the role they play in genuine Scottish Hospitality.

Who should enter:
The person who will collect the award, or someone who knows that person.
We have in mind tourism guides, drivers and receptionists, but if you are a ?service hero? in any appropriate role, please apply!

What the judges are looking for:
A story about an individual who, over the course of the last 18 months, has consistently inspired visitors by the way they have revealed something of the magic of Scotland.

Creative Ambition Award

This award celebrates tourism businesses or individuals who are exemplars in the sector. People or businesses that can demonstrate creativity, innovation and ambition for Scotland's hospitality opportunity. This could be a commitment to investment in people or in tourism projects including company expansion or capital development

Who should enter: 
Small or large organisations in the Business Tourism sector.
All applications are direct for the national award; this is not a regional category.

What the judges are looking for:
In the context of for Scotland's hospitality opportunity: a clear strategy, a proven track record and evidence of creative ambition being delivered as projects for Scotland's hospitality benefit. Evidence that provides both qualitative and quantitative measures.

Young Ambassador Award

People are the essence of the Tourism industry. The future of our industry lies with our young people, having the passion, ambition and dedication to want to have successful careers within this dynamic industry.

We have a responsibility to encourage our young people to reach their aspirations via support, guidance and skills development.

Who should enter: 
The Young Ambassador is open to all young people aged 30 and under.

Ambassador Award

We all have a responsibility in shaping the future of our industry. People with their commitment and passion for the industry are the critical success factors. In establishing this award we are looking to recognise these qualities in an individual who has dedicated their time and energy to making a difference to tourism. .

Who should enter: 
Nominees in this category should be 30 years of age or over