The Senior Open Golf Championship, held at Troon in 2008 has been recognised by Event Scotland, after reaching the finals of the International Events and Festivals category of their 2009 Scottish Thistle Awards.
As one of the key golf events on The European Senior Tour, the Championship was contested over the links course at Royal Troon Golf Club, and attracted over 41,000 spectators and participants from 34 countries across the world.
Tours were arranged for key representatives to visit local attractions such as Burns Cottage, Culzean Castle and whisky tasting at Turnberry.
Another successful and new initiative was the introduction of a ‘Family Day’ with a range of special activities for children, which included clubgolf – an initiative linked to promoting junior golfing excellence.
A total of 36 tourism related businesses and events from all over Scotland were honoured at the awards, which are possibly the most coveted accolades in the industry, celebrating quality and innovation across a range of categories.
Provost Winifred Sloan said: “For the Seniors Open to reach the final of the Scottish Thistle Awards is a direct reflection of the hard work and commitment of all those involved in bringing the Championship to South Ayrshire.
“The event ranks as one of the biggest in the golfing calendar, and we were fully geared up to promote South Ayrshire as a vibrant and welcoming tourist destination – a message we were proud to repeat for the 2009 British Open Golf Championship held at Turnberry in this, the Scottish Year of Homecoming.
“Tourism and the economic benefits it brings is a key driver in South Ayrshire’s Council’s aim to establish this area as the most dynamic, inclusive and sustainable community in Scotland.
“On behalf of the Council, I extend my warmest congratulations to all those involved in ensuring the success of the Seniors Open, and their recognition at national level is richly deserved”.
Well over 200 entries were received for this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards. Each category has its own independent panel of judges, who work to a strict scoring system to determine the shortlist of entrants, finalists and eventual winners.
Now in their 18th year, the Event Scotland Thistle Awards are open to all businesses operating in Scotland’s tourism industry.
Bringing together organisations from every sector of tourism in Scotland, the Awards ceremony is staged annually at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of the finalists who are exemplars in their field and whose hard work and innovation has been commended by panels of their peers.
In particular the awards seek to recognise and reward:
* Excellence in Scotland’s tourism industry in all areas and at all levels.
* Quality service and products which reflect all that is great in Scotland’s world-reputed and foremost industry.
* Professionalism, innovation and creative thinking within the industry.