The shortlist for this year’s Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) has been announced.
The return of the awards this year, after being called of due to Covid-19, saw a record number of entries from across the Highlands and islands.
Full shortlist of nominees
MacGregor’s Bars, Platform 1864, Scotch & Rye, Sligachan Hotel and Seumas’ Bar
Best B&B or guest house experience
The Skye Inn, Tigh na Mara Guesthouse, Torlinnhe Guest House
Best eatery experience
Coll Hotel, Kincraig Art Café Ltd, No 88 Ltd, The Pierhouse Hotel
Best hotel experience (under 20 rooms)
Coll Hotel, Foyers Lodge, Heathbank
Best hotel experience (over 20 rooms)
Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, Mackays Hotel, Ness Walk Hotel
Best outdoor or adventure experience
In Your Element, Islay Sea Adventures, Nevis Range
Best self-catering accommodation experience
Big Sky Lodges, Knoydart Hide, Lewis Longhouse
Best visitor attraction experience
Highland Wildlife Park, Loch Ness by Jacobite, Shetland Seabird Tours ‒ The Noss Boat
Food tourism award
Beinn an Tuirc Distillers Ltd, Garths Croft Bressay, Spirit & Spice
Winner announced on the evening
Highland rising star
Dougal Cameron – The Lunchbox Boys, Michael Bell – Loch Ness Cruises
Outstanding cultural event or festival
Fèis Ìle – The Islay Festival, Live at Five – MacGregor’s Bars, Night @ the BOOtanics – The Inverness Botanic Gardens
Inverness Botanic Gardens, The Glen Mhor Hotel, Visit Inverness Loch Ness
Tourism and hospitality hero
Fraser Duff – Highland Explorer Tours, Graham Rooney – Platform 1864, Rebecca Macdonald – Culloden Battlefield
Working together for tourism
Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, Visit Inverness Loch Ness, Wild Skies Shetland
The judging panel was delighted with the strong field of submissions, particularly after such a challenging two years for the sector.
HITA chairman Laurence Young said: “After two long years, it’s exciting to be able to bring the awards back.
‘Everyone can now look forward to a wonderful awards night’
“Everyone can now look forward to a wonderful awards night where we can celebrate the achievements of our sector and recognise the dedication, professionalism and excellence shown right across the Highlands and islands.”
The winners will be revealed at the awards night on Friday, November 4 at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness.
Winners of 13 out of the 15 HITA categories will go forward to the national finals of VisitScotland’s Thistle Awards.