An Aberdeenshire castle has scooped a top award at a prestigious tourism awards ceremony.
Crathes Castle, near Banchory, received a Visit Award of Excellence at the 2017 CIE Tours Awards of Excellence, which are based entirely on feedback from 14,000 customers who experienced 250 providers of accommodation, dining, tours and attractions.
Awards were given to those providers achieving an average customer satisfaction rating of 90 per cent or more.
CIE Tours launched its UK customer satisfaction awards in 2013. Since then, the numbers of venue and attraction winners achieving a higher than 90 per cent satisfaction rating in the UK, has grown from 32 to 56.
As a result, CIE introduced its “Gold” award that recognises the top-rated supplier in each of the 11 categories including Best Accommodation and Best Overall Tour Feature.
Jo Robinson, VisitScotland’s regional director for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, said: “I would like to congratulate these Scottish tourism businesses – and in particular Crathes Castle – on winning these prestigious awards.
“It is great to see the warm welcome and excellent service provided to our overseas guests being recognised by a company such as CIE Tours, which is making an important contribution to Scotland’s visitor economy.”
Elizabeth Crabill, chief executive officer of CIE Tours International, said: “The vast majority of our visitors to the UK – around 13,000 guests in 2016 – visit Scotland during their tours and we are pleased to award these partners that have developed a notably excellent customer experience in Scotland with more than half of our Gold and Merit Awards this year being made to Scottish hotels and attractions.
“We anticipate that demand for our Scotland tours will grow significantly in 2017, demonstrating the significance and growing appeal of Scotland’s heritage and quality customer experience. However, our challenge can be finding the right accommodation at the right price in some locations, where hotel prices threaten competitiveness and potential growth.”