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Home Tourist Attraction Visitor attraction on NC500 wins top award at ‘tourism Oscars’

Visitor attraction on NC500 wins top award at ‘tourism Oscars’

by Staff

Whisky distillery tour on NC500 wins top award at ‘tourism Oscars’ (Image: Supplied)

A Highland distillery has been recognised for its industry-leading visitor tours at an annual awards ceremony dubbed the ‘Oscars of tourism’.

The World Travel Awards winners for 2024 were announced in Berlin last week, with the Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery crowned Scotland’s Leading Distillery Tour.

The Muir of Ord distillery, located just a 35-minute drive from Inverness Airport, reopened its doors in 2022 as part of Diageo’s £185-million investment into Scotch Whisky tourism.

Celebrating the best of Scotland, it was designed to honour the slow-crafted single malt and its history while also giving locals and tourists an immersive experience to ‘explore everything the Highlands has to offer’.

The Herald: Pictured: The Singleton of Glen Ord has been named as Scotland's Leading Distillery TourThe Herald: Pictured: The Singleton of Glen Ord has been named as Scotland's Leading Distillery Tour

The Herald: Pictured: The Singleton of Glen Ord has been named as Scotland’s Leading Distillery Tour

Pictured: The Singleton of Glen Ord has been named as Scotland’s Leading Distillery Tour (Image: Supplied)

The distillery was previously named Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Icons of Whisky Scotland and World Whiskies Awards 2024 in December last year, as well as a Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Award having been consistently rated by the public as a five-star attraction in 2023.

READ MORE: Cheers for Scotch whisky industry as projects reach full maturity

Following last week’s win, Leigh Aitken, brand home manager at The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery, said: “To be named as Scotland’s Leading Distillery Tour by one of the biggest tourism award bodies in the world is such an honour.

“Scotland is famous for our unmatched larder, scenery, and of course, whiskies and in particular so to come out on top of this category is a testament to the versatile offering we have here, thanks to our team of whisky experts, bartenders, and local suppliers who each give us that extra something special.

“We look forward to welcoming even more people into the Highlands to try out our award-winning whisky experiences.”

The Herald: Pictured: Leigh Aitken, brand home manager at The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery, accepts the awardThe Herald: Pictured: Leigh Aitken, brand home manager at The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery, accepts the award

The Herald: Pictured: Leigh Aitken, brand home manager at The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery, accepts the award

Pictured: Leigh Aitken, brand home manager at The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery, accepts the award (Image: Supplied)

Sitting on the famous North Coast 500 route and accessible by bus or train from Inverness, the visitor attraction is known for working closely with suppliers from around the area to provide visitors with local produce, cultural moments with home-grown artists, as well as a series of unique tasting experiences.

This includes a Malt to Cask Tour, which offers the chance to explore onsite drum maltings, sneak a glimpse into the bonded warehouse, and taste the award-winning malt straight from the cask.

Elsewhere The Singleton Distillery Tour is a guided introduction to the process of the superior malt, plus a tasting of three unique expressions.

The distillery is also home to a circular Bar and Deli area known for hosting ‘Singleton Sessions’ with local musicians and showcasing the very best of Scotland’s larder.

Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards ‘acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence’ across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.

Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh was also recognised at this year’s ceremony and claimed the title of Europe’s Leading Spirit Tourism Experience 2024.

READ MORE: Island distillery and brewery ‘reveals the secret’ to more than doubling its revenue

The eight-floor visitor experience for the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky opened in September 2021 after four and a half years of planning and is hailed as the ‘centrepiece’ of Diageo’s investment into Scotch whisky.

The Herald: Pictured: Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh has welcomed over 800,000 visitors since opening in 2021The Herald: Pictured: Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh has welcomed over 800,000 visitors since opening in 2021

The Herald: Pictured: Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh has welcomed over 800,000 visitors since opening in 2021

Pictured: Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh has welcomed over 800,000 visitors since opening in 2021 (Image: Supplied)

Since opening, Johnnie Walker Princes Street has welcomed over 800,000 visitors from 131 countries, ‘from Andorra to Zimbabwe and everywhere in between’.

In addition to the ‘Journey of Flavour tour’ where visitors have their personal flavour preferences mapped with drinks tailored to their palate whilst exploring the 200-year history of Johnnie Walker, exclusive tours and experiences are also available all year round, including STIR, a collaboration with two Michelin-starred team James and Maria Close which combines ‘world-class cocktails with innovative cuisine’.

Four distilleries, Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish, are linked directly to the venue in Edinburgh, representing the “four corners of Scotland”.

Together, this creates a unique Johnnie Walker tour of Scotland, encouraging visitors to the capital city to also travel to the country’s rural communities.

A spokesperson for Diageo’s Scotland Brand Homes business, said: “Diageo has invested £185 million in creating world class visitor experiences in Scotland over the past few years, with the ambition of putting Scotland and Scotch whisky at the forefront of global food and drink tourism.

“It is wonderful to see that investment paying off with the recognition our visitor experiences, such as The Singleton of Glen Ord, are receiving on the world stage.”

 

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