A FIVE-STAR luxury castle hotel is representing South Ayrshire after being shortlisted for a regional gong in Scotland’s premier tourism and events awards. 

Glenapp Castle in Girvan has been listed in the Regional Final of the Scottish Thistle Awards which shine a spotlight on individual businesses and people working in this part of the Scottish economy, which is worth £11.5 billion.   

This year’s shortlist for the west regional final also includes Auchrannie Resort on Arran, which is shortlisted in the Best Hotel Experience (over 20 rooms) category alongside Glenapp Castle, and the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, which is nominated in the Working Together for Tourism category.  

Regional finalists will now come head-to-head with competition from other tourism businesses and events in their area at the west regional final taking place on November 10 at Òran Mór in Glasgow.  

Delivered by national tourism organisation VisitScotland, the Scottish Thistle Awards, with headline sponsor Johnston's of Elgin, combine regional awards, including the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) and the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA), with a national final.    

Steven Walker, chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards industry panel, said: “Now more than ever, the Scottish Thistle Awards present an opportunity to showcase tourism as a force for good, helping to ensure that tourism is recognised for the positive impact it brings to the country.  

“The Scottish Thistle Awards have attracted entries from right across the country, with every one of the shortlisted regional finalists demonstrating a commitment to innovative, collaborative and sustainable practices that are helping to support the recovery of our valuable tourism and events industry.  

“On behalf of the panel, I would like to congratulate all regional finalists and wish each and every one of them the very best of luck at the regional finals and beyond.”  

VisitScotland regional director Gordon Smith said: “It has been a very challenging two years for our tourism and events industry and the Scottish Thistle Awards mark an important celebration of those who have worked tirelessly to create the warm destination and visitor experiences that Scotland is famous for. 

“It is fantastic to see such a strong representation from Ayrshire & Arran in the regional finals.

"Whether it is quality accommodation, great food and drink or examples of collaboration and innovation, these entries show the strength and depth of the tourism industry in Ayrshire and Arran.

"I wish all those shortlisted the very best of luck.”