Excellence in the visitor attractions sector in Scotland has been recognised in the 2014 ASVA (Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions) awards, presented at ASVA’s ‘Game Changer’ conference at The Crieff Hydro Hotel in Perthshire on 13th November.
The Scottish Seabird Centre won top prize in the ‘Marketing’ category for its ‘Puffin’tastic Fun’ campaign, which was designed to raise awareness of Puffin Fest, the first ever festival dedicated to puffins in Scotland, which took place in May 2014.
The campaign, which saw a fresh and engaging visual identity applied across channels including advertising and PR, digital communications and interactive social media activity, aimed to inspire both locals and visitors alike to learn more about puffins while highlighting the importance of conserving and protecting our seabirds and Scotland’s seas for future generations.
The Battle of Bannockburn Experience won the ‘Best Visitor Experience’ award, sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia. 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.
Gillian Ramsay, Heritage Lottery Fund & Museums Galleries Scotland Project Manager at Abbot House Heritage Centre in Dunfermline, was announced as the winner of the ‘Rising Star’ Award. The award honours her significant contribution to Abbot House and the wider Scottish tourism industry. In winning the award, Gillian beat off stiff competition from runner-ups, Rebecca MacLennan, STEM Learning Manager at Dundee Science Centre, and Lauren Elliott, Monument Manager at Stanley Mills in Perth, who were both ‘Highly Commended’.
ASVA Chairman David O’Neill 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”.
Addressing conference delegates, Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland’s world class visitor attractions provide an unrivalled memorable experience and have a key part to play in achieving our aims for Homecoming Scotland 2014. This is a significant year for Scottish tourism which has seen us host the hugely successful Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup and next month the MTV Europe Music Awards come to Scotland.
“Looking forward to 2015, the Year of Food & Drink is a chance to spotlight, celebrate and promote Scotland’s natural larder and quality produce to our people and our visitors and to capitalise on the momentum created by the previous Year of Food & Drink and Homecoming.”