A stalwart of the north east tourism industry, Roger Goodyear, was honoured last night by his peers at the 2016 Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA).
Mr Goodyear, who is Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, joined 15 other winners who lifted trophies at the ceremony held at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa.
Mr Goodyear, who last year was made an MBE for his services to tourism in Banffshire, received a lifetime achievement award at the gathering which celebrated Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire’s finest tourism achievements.
Closely linked with the tourism industry for several years, Mr Goodyear was recognised for his work as chairman of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy and involvement in local tourism initiatives.
Other winners included Deeside Activity Park, which held onto its title of best outdoor/adventure experience for the second year running. Glen Tanar Estate’s Claire Bruce was named regional ambassador, while Gemma Cruickshank of VisitAberdeenshire was crowned regional rising star. Drum Castle also scooped two awards – the innovation in tourism award, and the working together for tourism award in association with Aberdeen Art Gallery.
A less triumphal note was struck when the Holiday Inn Aberdeen West was chosen as the most hospitable hotel just days after it went into administration. The popular hotel in Westhill remains open and trading while administrators FPR Advisory seek a buyer.
ACSTA chairman Peter Sangster said: “2016 has been a fantastic year for tourism in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and it has been brilliant to be able to celebrate such a diverse range of providers – from global brands to family-run outfits, there is a place for all in the north east tourism industry. I am proud that the entire spectrum of tourism is represented in this year’s winners.
“Every year it becomes more difficult to choose the winners in each category. So many tourism professionals in the region are finding new and innovative ways in which to provide world-class service to their customers – it’s very inspiring. It really is an exciting time to be part of the tourism industry in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.”
The winners will now go on to represent Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire at the national Scottish Thistle Awards in 2017, against regional winners from across Scotland.
Jo Robinson, regional director at VisitScotland, added: “A huge congratulations to all of the winners at the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards. I wish them the best of luck as they move forward to represent the region in the Scottish Thistle Awards national final next year. Tourism is the driving force for providing the jobs of today and tomorrow and these awards recognise the tireless effort that goes into creating a memorable experience for visitors to the region.”
Other winners on the night were: Callater Lodge, most hospitable B&B/guesthouse; Mill of Nethermill Holidays, best accommodation provider; The Grill, friendliest pub/bar; Royal Lochnagar Distillery, best visitor attraction; Jean Ryrie of Jurys Inn, tourism and hospitality hero; Celebrate Aberdeen, best cultural event or festival; Braemar Gathering, best sporting event; No. 10 Bar & Restaurant, best informal eating experience, and Eat on the Green, best restaurant experience.