A LOCH Lomond-based cruise company has been crowned best in the business at Scotland’s biggest tourism awards night.

Sweeney’s Cruise Co was named as Best Outdoor/ Adventure Experience at the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final on Thursday, March 14.

Scottish tourism’s premier awards ceremony - organised by VisitScotland in its 50th anniversary this year - took place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, where 15 individuals, businesses and events were honoured for their innovation, excellence and success in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Thistle judges commended Sweeney’s Cruise Co on its consistent good quality and high impact. They were also impressed by the high number of users of the business.

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Welcoming the announcement, owners John and Catherine Sweeney said: “We’re absolutely delighted to receive this award and would like to thank all our dedicated staff for their efforts over the years as well as VisitScotland for their recognition and support."

VisitScotland regional director David Adams McGilp said: “I would like to extend many congratulations to John and Catherine Sweeney and the whole of the team at Sweeney’s Cruise Co.

“These awards recognise the drive and passion the industry has for creating an unforgettable experience for visitors and I’m delighted that Sweeney’s Cruise Co has been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the region.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.”

Rebecca Brooks, chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel and VisitScotland board member, said:

“The Scottish Thistle Awards are Scotland’s premier awards for the tourism industry and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and recognise their achievements in what is a special year for tourism in Scotland as VisitScotland marks its 50th anniversary.

“Congratulations to all of our national winners of the 2018/19 Scottish Thistle Awards. We were honoured to have Diana Gabaldon amongst our guests who represent the best of Scottish tourism and epitomise the strength and depth of the sector which continues to innovate and excel in giving visitors a high-quality experience.

“The Scottish Thistle Awards lets us recognise the unsung heroes of our industry who show real dedication and enthusiasm for Scotland’s tourism industry.”