The Scottish golf tourism industry held its annual awards ceremony last week at the De Vere Cameron House Hotel on Loch Lomond.
The private sector-led Golf Tourism Scotland event brought together an impressive array of industry representatives in a celebration of all that remains positive, in spite of continuing difficult conditions for much of golf tourism.
The first GTS awards dinner was held in 2005 and within the past four seasons the event has become the “must be at” event in the golf calendar, this year topping off a most busy, challenging but ultimately productive twelve months for Golf Tourism Scotland.
Interim chairman Nick Hunter welcomed the audience to the dinner with a positive outlook to 2009; his message that this is the time to capitalise on the opportunities and in particular currency movements by working in tandem with Golf Tourism Scotland to ensure that Scotland as a golf destination can endure tough times ahead.
For the first year the awards were both nominated and voted on by the membership in an online poll. This resulted in a more representative vote and a diverse range of business nominations from across Scotland, with recognition given to accommodation providers, golf courses, transport operators, caddie masters, tour operators and a recent innovation – the Young Industry Person of the Year.
Golf Course of the Year was won by The Ailsa Course, Turnberry in Ayrshire.
Hotel of the Year awards went to The Ardgowan Hotel in St Andrews (Small Hotel/Guest House), Rufflets Country House Hotel near St Andrews (Country House),the Macdonald Marine Hotel, North Berwick (Large Hotel) and the Fairmont St Andrews (Resort Hotel).
Other awards on the evening went to Kingsbarns Golf Links for Secretariat of the Year, Martin Roy at Carnoustie Golf Links won the Caddie Master award; Kintyre Express based out of Troon scooped Transport Operator of the Year and Haversham and Baker received the accolade of Golf Tour Operator of the Year.
The final award for 2008, sponsored by the host venue, was for Young Industry Person and that was collected by Alexander Macdonald, Head Greenkeeper at Golspie Golf Club in the North Highlands.
Golf Tourism Scotland www.golftourismscotland.com
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