Excellence in the Scottish visitor attractions sector has been rewarded this week.
The 2018 ASVA (Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions) awards were presented at ASVA’s Going Back to the Future conference at the Doubletree by Hilton Westerwood Hotel in Cumbernauld yesterday (Thursday).
The ASVA has over 450 member visitor attractions, and its member sites attract over 37 million visitors each year.
The Scotch Whisky Experience won top prize in the marketing category for its 30th anniversary campaign, which celebrated the attraction’s three decades as a key player in the Scottish tourism industry, as well as Scotch whisky’s place at the heart of Scotland.
Runners-up in the category were Edinburgh Dungeon for Braveheart’s Revenge, the launch campaign for its new William Wallace show, and RZSS’s Highland Wildlife Park for its #weehamish Campaign, which celebrated the first polar bear to be born in the UK for 25 years.
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.
The Isle of Arran Distillery and Visitor Centre won the Best Visitor Experience award, sponsored by the Royal Yacht Britannia, with the Clydeside Distillery and the Famous Grouse Experience 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.
Caitlin Carrick, security and visitor services duty manager at National Galleries of Scotland, was announced as the winner of the Rising Star Award.
The award honours her significant contribution to National Galleries of Scotland and the wider Scottish tourism industry.
In winning the award, Caitlin beat off stiff competition from runners-up, Joseph Sellors, monument manager, Dumbarton Castle, and Rosie Willmot, marketing manager (Digital) at The Scotch Whisky Experience.
ASVA chairman Douglas Walker said: ‘Our award winners are all setting a fantastic example by providing a truly world class visitor experience and bringing the ‘wow’ factor to Scottish tourism. Going forward, the future for the visitor attractions sector in Scotland looks very bright with this wonderful pool of talent.’
Visitor attractions in ASVA membership generate almost 5000 full time equivalent jobs for the Scottish economy.