How is the programme organised? 

The Scottish Thistle Awards are funded and delivered by VisitScotland in partnership and collaboration with regional award programmes. They combine five regional awards, with a national final and are supported by an Industry Panel of representatives from across Scotland’s diverse tourism industry.  

Our official regional partners include:

Aberdeen City & Shire Thistle Awards

South of Scotland Thistle Awards

We work together with our regional partners to ensure there is consistency and alignment in the categories for entry, judging criteria and process, promotional activity and scheduling of events. Our regional partners are independently responsible for the operational delivery of each part of the programme and an award ceremony for their region. All winners from the regional awards are automatically entered into the National Final.  

Details on each region and the local authority areas they include are listed below. 

The Regions

Aberdeen City & Shire

Delivered by Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards

  • Aberdeenshire
  • Aberdeen City  

Central & East

Delivered by VisitScotland

  • Angus
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Dundee City
  • Edinburgh City
  • Falkirk
  • Fife
  • Perth & Kinross
  • Stirling
  • East Lothian
  • Midlothian
  • West Lothian 

Highlands & Islands

Delivered by Highlands & Islands Thistle Awards

  • Argyll & Bute (excluding G postcode areas)
  • Comhairle nan Eilean Siar​ 
  • Highland
  • Moray
  • Orkney
  • Shetland 

South of Scotland

Delivered by South of Scotland Destination Alliance and supported by South of Scotland Enterprise 

  • Dumfries & Galloway
  • Scottish Borders


Delivered by VisitScotland

  • Argyll & Bute (G Postcodes only)
  • Arran
  • Glasgow City
  • Renfrewshire
  • East Renfrewshire
  • Inverclyde
  • North Lanarkshire
  • South Lanarkshire
  • East Ayrshire
  • North Ayrshire
  • South Ayrshire
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • West Dunbartonshire  

To find out more about how the awards work, click here.


Scottish Thistle Awards
c/o VisitScotland
94 Ocean Drive
Edinburgh EH6 6JH
0131 472 2228


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