A major attraction at Loch Lomond Shores has been named Tourism & Hospitality Employer of the Year at Scotland’s premier tourism and events awards.

Sea Life Loch Lomond in Balloch received the award at the Scottish Thistle Awards national final which took place at the Glasgow Hilton on Friday, December 1. 

The inaugural Tourism & Hospitality Employer of the Year award celebrates employers who provide a supportive and inspiring work environment and demonstrate a real commitment to the welfare of their staff.

And Sea Life Loch Lomond was praised by judges for their engagement with young people, their work experience opportunities and strong ties with the local education system.

They were also commended for their supportive culture. 

On winning the award, Kathryn Adam, general manager at the aquarium, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win this award.

“Our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion has made Sea Life Loch Lomond a truly inclusive and inspirational place to work.

“This award is a testament to every single member of our team – so a big thank you to my team and a big thank you to the Scottish Thistle Awards for this recognition.”

There was also a win for West Dunbartonshire Council for the Rediscovering the Antonine Wall Project in the Celebrating Thriving Communities category. 

The Scottish Thistle Awards are delivered by VisitScotland with support from headline sponsor Johnstons of Elgin.

The awards, which also include a media partnership with News Scotland, celebrate the very best of tourism in Scotland and the excellence, collaboration and innovation that is helping to support the responsible growth of the industry.

Around 400 guests attended the special event that marks the culmination of the Scottish Thistle Awards programme for 2023. The evening was hosted by TV presenter Jennifer Reoch and broadcaster Gary Innes with entertainment by Cammy Barnes.

VisitScotland regional director Lynne Cooper said: “Congratulations to Sea Life Loch Lomond and the on receiving these national awards at this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards.

“It is a fantastic achievement to earn recognition as one of the best in the country, shining a spotlight on the region and the positive impacts our tourism and events industry brings to Scotland.”