Second award in one week for CalMac's support to tourism on Scotland's west coast
For the second time in a week, CalMac has stepped forward to pick up a top award recognising its support to Scotland's west coast tourism.
At a ceremony in Edinburgh, the UK's largest ferry network operator was named winner in the Working Together for Tourism category at VisitScotland's annual Thistle Awards.
The result comes just days after the company was successful in Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year at the UK-wide The Travel Marketing Awards for its Two Eejits campaign aimed at millennials.
Recognised as Scotland's travel and tourism Oscars, the annual Thistle Awards bring together businesses from across the nation who have shown excellence, innovation and commitment in the tourism sector.
Shortlisted in the category after regional heats, CalMac was also nominated alongside the likes of Scotrail and Aberdeen Art Gallery and the NTS at Drum Castle.
In particular, CalMac was recognised for the multiple channels and innovations it has made across the west coast Highlands and islands that it serves, supporting the crucial tourism industry which employs thousands of people and generates vital revenue for many fragile economies.
The company's input ranges from key partnership working with the many destination marketing organisations throughout its network area, as well as more specific products developed to generate tourism interest.
These include the ever popular Go Days Out brochure, which combines ferry travel with various travel or attraction experiences to produce attractive single day adventures which can be enjoyed from numerous ports throughout the network.
It also focuses on specific products like the CalMac Whisky Pass which gives holders exclusive discounts and offers at a wide range of distilleries and bars, helping to support the burgeoning malt whisky tourism sector - one which, crucially, brings visitors to the islands in the traditional off-season, as well as at more peak times.
Recently introduced, CalMac's Go Active information has captured the growing sector of those who seek a more energetic approach to their island visit, with lots of hints, tips and valuable information - with everything from walking and cycling friendly accommodation or eateries, through to advice about more unusual adventures.
"We work tirelessly with partners across our whole area to help make the most of visitor experiences in this stunning area of Scotland," said Director of Customer Sales and Marketing Graeme MacFarlan. "I am very proud of the work we have done and continue to do to help underpin and promote the vital tourism sector. My team deserves great credit for this award and I commend all their vision and determination.
"We will continue to try new things and to work closely with the many people on the islands who both rely on our ferries to bring their customers to them, but also collaborate with us to offer the best deals and information so that we can, in turn, give our passengers the best experience and guidance possible."
Picture shows MV Isle of Mull leaving Oban Bay