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Don't miss your chance to shine

By Features Reporter

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Will you be a HITA winner in 2022? Picture: Callum Mackay
Will you be a HITA winner in 2022? Picture: Callum Mackay

A Highlands & Islands Tourism Award is not simply a trophy to put on display to impress customers, it represents so much more than that.

Backed by hugely successful, highly respected sponsors including Royal Bank of Scotland, Highland Council, Port of Cromarty Firth, and Fishers Laundry Services, a HITA award – or even just making the shortlist – is a tremendous accolade.

It not only distinguishes a business as having an exceptionally high level of excellence, professionalism and dedication that inspires customers to return time and again, it demonstrates recognition and admiration from your peers throughout the sector.

Your success may even influence your contemporaries to adopt new best practices and business models, or you could inspire new entrepreneurs to follow in your footsteps.

After two of the most challenging years the sector has endured, now is the time to make sure your business and your team get the recognition it deserves. Entry to the Awards is free of charge so there is every reason to share your achievements and tell us all about the great work you are doing.

Showcase your skills, initiative and perseverance, or nominate a business or individual for their exceptional talents and dedication to the industry and wider community.

The award categories cover every aspect of the industry; fascinating visitor attractions and events; exciting outdoor experiences; outstanding food and drink businesses showcasing the area’s exceptional natural larder and artisan products; and, of course, the world-famous Highland hospitality.

But more than that, the Awards and sponsors also recognise the high standards of excellence, professionalism and dedication in the people that not only strive to make their businesses a success but have a bigger impact on their local area.

This year’s exciting new award category, the climate champion, sponsored by Awards sponsor Royal Bank of Scotland, recognises the work tourism businesses are carrying out to tackle climate change. The awards for Highland rising star, Highland ambassador, tourism and hospitality hero, and working together for tourism recognise and acknowledge the best of Highland people.

The categories are:

  • RBS climate champion
  • Highland rising star
  • Highland ambassador
  • Best bar or pub
  • Best hotel experience (under 20 rooms)
  • Best hotel experience (over 20 rooms)
  • Food tourism award
  • Best eatery experience
  • Best outdoor or adventure experience
  • Best self-catering accommodation
  • Best visitor attraction experience
  • Best B&B or guest house experience
  • Outstanding cultural event or festival
  • Tourism and hospitality hero
  • Working together for tourism

The winners of the last 12 categories will go forward to the national finals of VisitScotland’s Thistle Awards. HITA winners have gone on to win multiple awards at a national level.

In addition, there are three other Thistle Award categories which businesses from across the Highlands and Islands can enter directly via VisitScotland:

  • Outstanding sporting event
  • Best business event
  • Responsible tourism award

The Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards bring together industry leaders, sponsors and, most importantly, all of those shortlisted. All will gather at the award-winning Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness for the Awards on Friday, November 4, 2022.

The closing date for nominations is May 27. For entries, the closing date is June 10. Visit highland-tourism-awards.co.uk

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