|Dunrobin Castle Wins Prestigious Award
Dunrobin Castle has been rated by its visitors as one of the UK’s best tourism attractions.
The Award was given by Irish bus tour operator, CIE Tours International, who recognised the quality of Scotland’s hotels and visitor attractions by awarding Dunrobin Castle and 16 other Scottish tourism providers, an award of excellence in its inaugural UK Awards of Excellence.
The award ceremony (18th April 2013) was held in Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza Hotel and of the 25 awards made, 17 were for Scottish hotels and visitor attractions. Merit awards are made to suppliers achieving an overall customer satisfaction of 90% or over, based on customer feedback.
In the UK as a whole, the company is working with 185 suppliers in total, 55 of which are hotels and 130 are visitor attractions while in Scotland, CIE Tours is working with 30 hotels and 85 visitor attractions. Although CIE Tours has held an annual award ceremony in Ireland for the last 23 years, this was the first event of its kind in the UK and reflects the operator’s expansion into Scotland and the rest of the UK.
|Mr Brian Stack, Managing Director of CIE Tours International, said: “Since 1932, CIE Tours has brought in excess of three million visitors to Ireland. Over the last few years we have been extending our offer throughout the UK and we believe that Scotland in particular, is an attractive destination for our customers, many of whom are from North America.
Our customers, quite rightly, have very high standards and high expectations for their visit to Scotland and these awards recognise those suppliers who deliver on and in many cases, exceed, those expectations.”
Commenting on winning the award, Scott Morrison, general manager at Dunrobin Castle, said: we are thrilled to receive the CIE Tours award and it is particularly pleasing as it is based on real feedback from customers. The castle and its gardens always impress our visitors and we work extremely hard to make their experience enjoyable and memorable. We look forward to welcoming guests from CIE Tours again this year and hope to continue providing such a high standard of service.
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with CIE Tours for almost a decade, bringing thousands of visitors from North America - one of our key international markets - to enjoy a holiday in Scotland. The timing of this fantastic recognition for our country’s tourism businesses is particularly apt. Scotland is preparing to welcome the world in 2014, when we host Homecoming, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, and we look forward to working with CIE Tours to bring even more visitors to these shores to see what Scotland has to offer.
|Dunrobin Castle Wins Coveted Tourism Oscar
Dunrobin Castle, the north of Scotland’s most dramatic visitor attraction, has been given a significant tourism accolade that places it among the top destinations in the UK such as Stonehenge and Windsor Castle. The awards, from Irish firm CIE Tours International included UK tourism attractions that have been visited by customers of CIE Tours.
Previously only given to Irish tourism businesses, the CIE awards are known in Ireland as the Tourism Oscars. This is the first year that British visitor attractions have been eligible for the accolade, and only eight attractions out of the hundreds of UK sites that were visited last year have met the exacting criteria for an award.
The winners of the Awards of Excellence are chosen from an independent evaluation of feedback surveys completed by over 22,000 CIE Tours International customers who are asked to mark the hotels, restaurants, visitor attractions and events that they experience on their tours – which cover the whole of Ireland and the UK, and also go further afield. Only the small number of those that receive an overall mark of 90% or more are awarded a Silver Merit Award of Excellence. The other locations which received awards included Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Bath’s Roman Baths and Glamis Castle.
|Dunrobin is one of the North’s most popular tourism attractions, with 65,000 visitors expected through its gates in 2012. The castle, which resembles a French château with its towering conical spires, is the most northerly of Scotland's great houses and the largest in the Northern Highlands with 189 rooms. It is also one of Britain's oldest continuously inhabited houses dating back to the early 1300s, home to the Earls and later, the Dukes of Sutherland.
Scott Morrison, general manager at Dunrobin Castle, said: “To receive the CIE Tours award is particularly pleasing as it is based on real feedback from customers and it shows just how much we have to offer to visitors. The castle and its grounds always impress people and we work extremely hard to make their experience enjoyable and memorable. The North of Scotland has world-class scenery and is always a big draw to visitors from the UK and overseas.
Dunrobin is also a popular tourist destination for the thousands of cruise ship tourists that berth in the Moray Firth each year.
Located on the east coast of the Northern Highlands overlooking the Moray Firth, just north of the villages of Golspie and Dornoch, Dunrobin is about an hour’s drive north of the Highland capital, Inverness. The castle includes daily birds of prey flying demonstrations on the Castle lawn. It is open annually from April 1 – October 15.
Brian Stack, Managing Director of CIE Tours International, said: “Our focus is on top quality service and these awards pay tribute to the hard work of those working in the tourism sector. This year, over 22,000 of our customers who travelled around Ireland with CIE Tours gave their views on accommodation, dining and tourist attractions choosing these winners from over 400 suppliers.
“We closely monitor all feedback to ensure our customers enjoy their visit and feel that we have provided value-for-money. This is a critical part of our quality assurance programme and enables us to provide valuable insight to our suppliers. It is very impressive that Dunrobin Castle is among such an exclusive selection of visits, scoring as well as iconic locations such as Stonehenge and Windsor Castle.”