Hospitality providers across the Shire scoop awards

From left: Scottish Thistle Awards host Dougie Vipond; Jean Ryrie; presenter Craig Stevenson, chief executive of Braehead Foods; host Jennifer Reoch. Pic: Chris Watt Photography.

From left: Scottish Thistle Awards host Dougie Vipond; Jean Ryrie; presenter Craig Stevenson, chief executive of Braehead Foods; host Jennifer Reoch. Pic: Chris Watt Photography.

The cream of the north east’s hospitality providers has returned to the region with silverware after picking up awards in the nation’s tourism Oscars recently.

Now other operators and individuals from the area could follow in their footsteps into the industry’s hall of fame.

Entries are open for this year’s Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA), hot on the heels of three of its 2016 winners claiming national titles at the Scottish Thistle Awards.

ACSTA is the regional heat of the VisitScotland competition, and its winners go head to head with the very best that the country has to offer.

Jean Ryrie, executive head housekeeper of Jurys Inn at Aberdeen Airport, picked up the hospitality hero award for her unfaltering devotion to guests in a career that has spanned 40 years. Coastal self-catering retreat Mill of Nethermill Holidays, based near Pennan, was awarded best accommodation provider and No 10 Bar and Grill of Aberdeen was honoured with the best informal eating title.

Elaine Booth of Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards organising committee says she hopes the profile gained by the region’s Thistle Awards winners will help to stir up entries. She said: “To be recognised as a key player in the tourism industry on a national level is a huge achievement for our local award winners, and I hope they all thoroughly enjoyed their opportunity to shine among the very best that Scotland has to offer.”

Jean Ryrie won the ACSTA hospitality hero award in 2016 and was stunned to go on to take the national title. She said: “It was a real honour to win, and I am proud to have won it, not just for myself and everyone at the hotel, but for the whole area too. There are lots of people working in tourism who do an outstanding job, so I feel very lucky to have been singled out. It was wonderful to be recognised and I would encourage people to enter or to nominate someone they work with.”

Entry into the awards is free and can be submitted by visiting www.acsta.co.uk. Submissions can be made until June 30. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony and gala dinner at Ardoe House Hotel in Aberdeen on November 24.