UKinbound, a leading travel trade association that represents more than 340 of the UK’s top tourism businesses, has awarded Visit Inverness Loch Ness (VILN) the accolade of DMO of the Year at its Awards for Excellence.
The award was presented in front of more than 275 tourism and hospitality professionals at the annual Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, which took place at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen last week.
Following self-nomination, the winners were decided by a panel of independent judges from across the tourism industry – Kurt Janson, director, Tourism Alliance; Helen Bowron, communications director, Coach Tourism Association; and Dr Karen Thomas, director, Tourism and Events Research Hub, Canterbury Christ Church University.
The judges were particularly impressed by the Visit Inverness Loch Ness’ commitment to sustainability and significant growth in engagement with its audiences, whilst delivering strong business results for its members.
Joss Croft, CEO UKinbound said: “Our industry has worked incredibly hard over the last 12 months and our Awards for Excellence recognise and celebrate the companies and organisations that have made a significant contribution to the continuing success of the sector, and we were delighted to name Visit Inverness Loch Ness DMO of the Year.”
Collecting the award on the night was Alan Rawlinson, Business Development Manager at VILN, who said: “The UKinbound Convention 2022 in Aberdeen was an amazing event, attended by the best of the UK tourism industry. Two days of great presentations, meetings with buyers and excellent supplier networking culminating with the Awards for Excellence gala event, where it was a great honour to accept the prestigious DMO of the Year award on behalf of the entire VILN team; a reward for the hard work and dedication of everyone involved.”
Michael Golding, CEO of VILN, added: “I’m incredibly proud that Visit Inverness Loch Ness has been named DMO of the Year. It is testament to the collective effort of our fantastic team who deliver great value to our members and the communities of Inverness and Loch Ness. Much focus of our work has been on sustainability, including our Climate Action Plan, so it’s great to have this work recognised by UKinbound at this prestigious event.”
The Awards for Excellence were presented during the association’s Annual Convention which took place at P&J Live in Aberdeen on Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 September. The event featured an influential line-up of speakers including broadcaster, entrepreneur and blind traveller Amar Latif; Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise; and Patricia Yates, CEO, VisitBritain.