The Scotch Whisky Experience is among the winners in the 2009 ASVA (Association of Scotland’s Visitor Attractions) awards, presented at its Driving Sustainable Growth conference at Westerwood Hotel, near Glasgow earlier this month.
The Scotch Whisky Experience on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile won joint top prize in the Marketing category for its ‘Sensational Journey’ campaign, which was developed to create awareness of the 2009 redevelopment of the centre.
Facing the need to maximise exposure from a limited budget, the campaign focused on using radio, outdoor media and PR to raise mass awareness of the new attraction along with partnership marketing activities to increase reach and drive footfall.
The campaign was successful in generating a 16% increase in visitors and an 18% increase in spend.
The Real Mary King’s Close, also on The Royal Mile, was joint winner in the Marketing category for its ‘Real Streets…Real People…Real History’ campaign, which focused on marketing activity carried out following a rebranding of the attraction in 2008.
The Scottish Mining Museum, one of Midlothian’s most popular visitor attractions, won the Best Visitor Experience award, sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia. Entries in this category were assessed on all aspects of the layout and content of the attraction and on the ‘experience’ offered, in particular the quality of interaction between staff and visitors.
The Forth’s Timeline project, a strategic museum partnership to enhance heritage and museum tourism in the Forth Valley, was the recipient of the Big Idea Award.
Entries in this prestigious new category were open to individual attractions or groups of attractions working together which could demonstrate that innovative, "‘out of the box" thinking has produced a big idea that has really benefited their organisation.
Cathie Randall, general manager at Glasgow School of Art Enterprises Ltd, was named winner of the Rising Star Award. The award honours her significant contribution to Glasgow School of Art and the wider Scottish tourism industry.
In winning the award Cathie beat off stiff competition from Cath Wright of Rothiemurchus Estates and Linda Wallace of the Dundee Science Centre, who were both Commended.
Presenting the awards, ASVA chairman Andrew Johnson said: "The standard of entries this year was extremely high, with the submissions demonstrating that visitor attractions are ‘upping their game’ and responding positively to the challenges presented by an increasingly competitive marketplace.
"There is clearly a lot of high quality, innovative work being carried out in areas such as interpretation, marketing and customer service and this is undoubtedly one reason why the visitor attractions sector has held up well in a the current challenging economic climate."
Visit the Scotch Whisky Experience at: www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk.
Visitor Attractions: Authentic Value