Auchrannie triumphant at national Thistle Awards

Auchrannie Resort is celebrating once more after picking up a top award at Scotland’s flagship tourist awards, ‘The Thistles’.

The awards, organised by Visit Scotland are designed to discover and celebrate excellence within the Scottish tourism industry – recognising those businesses that represent the very best in their field.

Linda Johnston, group director of Auchrannie collected “The Tourism Entrepreneur Award” in recognition of the outstanding contribution to tourism on Arran that the Auchrannie team together with herself, Iain Johnston and Ronnie Mann (Development and Finance Director) have made over the last 24 years and in more recent years the role that Richard Small (General manager) has played as a key innovator.

Judges were looking for a dynamic business with a track record in creating new products and services and harnessing an understanding of their customers to develop a truly exciting and innovative enterprise.

In their presentation of the award, the judges remarked “Starting something is relatively easy but growing it is not so straightforward. Iain and Linda Johnston acquired Auchrannie in 1988 and have demonstrated what can be achieved in Scotland with vision, leadership and great people development. This is a company driven by a huge entrepreneurial spirit - not simply by innovating but by sustaining it over many years with no signs of running out of steam. Quality resort development is vital to the rural economy of Scotland and much can be learned from Auchrannie.”

Hundreds of guests, from every corner of Scotland’s tourism industry, along with Visit Scotland chairman Dr Michael Cantlay and minister for tourism Fergus Ewing attended the black tie event hosted by BBC news presenter Catriona Shearer in the spectacular setting of the Kelvingrove art gallery in Glasgow.

Auchrannie were originally crowned winners of their regional heat back in May and were up against the winners from three other regions in this the national final.

Commenting after collecting the award, group director Linda said “To be a national Thistle Award winner is a great achievement from a personal point of view and it is great recognition for the hard work the whole team have put in since we opened Auchrannie back in 1988. Every member of the team both past and present should be proud of the contribution they have made towards winning this award”

This is Auchrannie’s second Thistle Award, having previously won the ‘Scotland Year Round’ award back in 2004.

It also adds to Auchrannie’s every growing list of accolades and is one of 10 major awards already won in 2012.