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Last night at a glittering event in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre hundreds of people involved in tourism businesses all over Scotland gathered.

VisitScotland organise the tourist trade’s awards ceremony to celebrate the best in the country and they had Greg McHugh (yes really Gary Tank Commander!) and Jennifer Reoch hosting the evening. This is the 50th anniversary of VisitScotland promoting the country as a tourist destination across the globe.

Diana Gabaldon author of Outlander received a special honorary Thistle award in recognition of her International Contribution to Scottish tourism. The award was granted in recognition of the phenomenal success of the Outlander TV series, based on Ms Gabaldon’s novels, and the resulting impact on Scottish tourism in recent years.

In Edinburgh the winners included Edinburgh International Conference Centre awarded the CAT Media – Best Business Event award, for hosting the European Orthodontic Society Congress 2018, Kieran Rose of Borthwick Castle in Midlothian who was chosen as Tourism and Hospitality Hero, The Real Mary King’s Close which won Best Heritage Tourism Experience

PHOTO Chris Watt

Rebecca Brooks, chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel and VisitScotland Board member, said: “The Scottish Thistle Awards are Scotland’s premier awards for the tourism industry and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and recognise their achievements in what is a special year for tourism in Scotland as VisitScotland marks its 50th anniversary.

“Congratulations to all of our national winners of the 2018/19 Scottish Thistle Awards. We were honoured to have Diana Gabaldon amongst our guests who represent the best of Scottish tourism and epitomise the strength and depth of the sector which continues to innovate and excel in giving visitors a high quality experience.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs and sustains communities. The Scottish Thistle Awards lets us recognise the unsung heroes of our industry who show real dedication and enthusiasm for Scotland’s tourism industry.”