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The Highlands & Islands Thistle Awards winners 2023!

By Features Reporter

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Highlands & Islands Thistle Awards 2023
Highlands & Islands Thistle Awards 2023

It was a wonderful night of celebration as the winners of the 2023 Highlands & Islands Thistle Awards (HITA) were announced.

The winners were revealed at a sold-out gala dinner and ceremony at the Macdonald Drumossie Hotel, Inverness on Friday.

A total of 17 winners were announced at the event, which this year sold out in record time, and a number of businesses were also highly commended.

The HITA winners 2023 are:

Best BB or Guest House

Melfort House

Best Bar or Pub


Best Eating Experience

Edinbane Lodge

Highly Commended

The Pierhouse Hotel and Seafood Restaurant

Best Hotel Experience

Duisdale House Hotel

Best Outdoor Adventure

Wilderness Scotland

Highly Commended

Wilder Ways

Best Self Catering Accommodation

The Tin Shed

Best Visitor Attraction

Seabirds-and-Seals ‒The Original Noss Boat Tours

Celebrating Thriving Communities

Gairloch and Loch Ewe action Forum (GALE)

Climate Action

Wilderness Scotland

Inclusive Tourism

Seabirds-and-Seals ‒ The Original Noss Boat Tours

Innovation in Tourism

Stories of Scotland Podcast

Outstanding Cultural Event

HebCelt Festival

Tourism & Hospitality Employer of the Year

The Drumossie Hotel

Tourism Individual of the Year

Michael Golding

Highland Rising Star

Dylan Wynne

Highland Ambassador

Tony Story

Hospitality Hero

Marion MacNeil, Heathbank

HITA chairman, Calum Ross, was delighted for all of the winners and the highly commended businesses at this year’s awards.

“What an incredible night for the Highlands & Islands’ tourism and hospitality sector! Huge congratulations go to all of the winners. We are absolutely thrilled for each and every one of them.

“They have proved yet again what exceptional talent we have here. Not only do these individuals and businesses offer a first-class tourism experience to visitors from around the UK and the rest of the world. They also contribute so much to a sector that provides exciting and rewarding careers to a local workforce, both young people and those looking for a new challenge.

“It was great to see all our finalists enjoy a well-deserved night off and we were delighted to celebrate their success with them.

“A big thank you to our hosts, the Macdonald Drumossie Hotel, Inverness for the fantastic hospitality and gala dinner. The evening was a fitting end to the 2023 contest that saw our best and brightest talent shine.

“And of course we thank all of our generous sponsors, friends and partners for supporting the awards which could not take place without them.”

Covering all the regions of the Highlands and Islands; from Argyll in the west, to Moray in the east, and Orkney and Shetland in the north, the annual Highlands & Islands Thistle Awards brought together industry leaders, rising stars, new enterprises and trusted names to celebrate achievements and recognise excellence in the sector.

Many winners from the regional awards will go forward to win at the national finals, the VisitScotland Thistle Awards in December.

For more information about HITA visit https://www.hita-awards.com/

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