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CalMac takes VisitScotland West area Thistle Award for Working Together for Tourism

thistle award

Presented at a ceremony in Glasgow, the award recognises the company's wide-ranging efforts and successes in support of many organisations, attractions, initiatives and businesses linked to tourism across its 200-mile network.

Working with the likes of both VisitScotland and the Scottish Tourism Alliance, CalMac's endeavours to both promote and support the growth of visitors within the area includes its annual Go Days Out brochure, the innovative West Coast Whisky Pass and collaboration with ScotRail for the convenient, combined Rail and Sail tickets.

The company also works closely with the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland, producing the Islands Explorer Pass with the latter, and also runs an annual Travel and Tourism Conference, now in its third year.

These are just a few of the extensive initiatives which led to the judges considering CalMac as winners of the award and the company now goes forward to the national finals.

"I was delighted to collect this award on behalf of CalMac and for the recognition in the prestigious Scottish Thistle Awards," said Maggie Maguire, CalMac's UK Tourism Development Manager. "Having worked in tourism in many countries for many years, it's great to have the opportunity to be part of Scotland's vibrant, exciting and vital tourism sector.

"CalMac recognises the vital importance of tourism to the local west coast economies and communities which we serve as well as to the wider Scottish economy. We are proud to play our part as a tourism enabler and innovator, working in partnership with both national and local organisations and operators to help support and grow Scotland's thriving, exciting and hugely important tourism industry.

"Working as we do, in such stunning and inspiring regions and with innovative and forward looking partners and teams we are also looking forward to more innovation and exciting plans with new products and services in the coming years."

In 2015, an independent economic report by the University of Strathclyde's  Fraser of Allander Institute, found CalMac contributes almost £270million turnover to Scotland as a whole and that the company enables 3,247 jobs in island tourism, representing £53.4million worth in wages.

In addition to receiving an award, the company was also nominated in a second category for Innovation in Tourism and sponsored the award for Best Cultural Event or Festival, which was won by NVA's Hinterland at St Peter's Seminary in Cardross.

CalMac is the UK's largest ferry network operator, serving  50 destination combinations across 200 miles of Scotland's west coast. Its fleet of 32 vessels undertook more than 135,000 individual sailings last year, carrying 4.6 million passengers and 1.3 million cars.

Picture shows (left to right) Maggie Maguire of CalMac, presenter Iris Fernie of Edinburgh Airport and host Jennifer Reoch


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