Argyll businesses head for tourism ‘Oscars’

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Tourism businesses from all over Argyll are heading to Inverness to attend the Highland and Islands Tourism Awards 2018 – also known as the tourism ‘Oscars’.

Sixteen businesses have been shortlisted for the prestigious awards with winners going on to the Scottish Thistle Awards finals in Edinburgh next year.

Argyll tourism is represented in all of the 14 categories including: Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House, Tourism and Hospitality Hero and Working Together for Tourism.

More than 160 businesses were originally nominated but just 43 were shortlisted in the end, with Argyll and the Isles leading the way.

Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) chairman Craig Ewan said: ‘Congratulations to all our finalists. Given the quality of the entries, the businesses and individuals who have made the shortlist can be really proud of their achievement.

‘It was another extremely difficult task for the judges to narrow the entries to just 43 contenders and they have another huge challenge ahead in picking our eventual winners.

‘The awards showcase the best of the tourism industry in the Highlands and Islands and also inspire operators to continue to raise standards and provide excellence at all times to our visitors.’

Argyll businesses are finalists in Best Cultural Event or Festival, Best Eating Experience, Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience and Best Self Catering Experience.

Businesses from Argyll have booked tables to make sure they sit together for the important awards ceremony at Kingsmill Hotel, Inverness.

David Sexton, from RSPB and Mull Eagle Watch, also a finalist in the Working Together for Tourism category, added: ‘It’s fantastic to see all these finalists from Argyll and gives a real sense of pride in what these businesses are doing.

‘It’s been great to group together to book tables giving a real sense of Team Argyll on the night – and saving some money, which is always good!’

The full list of Argyll businesses and individuals shortlisted is: Portavadie, Loch Fyne; Clan Cottages, Oban; Oban Live; Jura Music Festival; Ninth Wave Restaurant, Mull; St Hilda Sea Adventures, Oban; Basking Shark Scotland, Oban; Nature Scotland, Mull; Majestic Line, Argyll; Glenegedale House, Islay; Mull Eagle Watch; Argyll and the Isles Tourism Cooperative Ltd; John McNulty, Taynuilt Hotel; Emma Clark, Glenegedale House; Alice Gill, Lodge on Loch Goil.