A TRIBUTE to the pioneers of Scottish tourism was made at a recent awards ceremony held to honour their significant contributions and highlight the vital role they play in supporting Scotland’s country sports tourism sector.

Eoghan Cameron, chairman of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), commended the winners of the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Awards 2024 for their outstanding contributions to Scottish tourism.

He highlighted the leadership of the winners in promoting responsible and sustainable tourism and their significant conservation efforts at the awards, which were held at the BASC stand at the GWCT Scottish Game Fair, at Scone Palace, last weekend.

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The awards were organised by BASC’s Country Sport Scotland division. Mr Cameron said: “Each recipient sets a benchmark for excellence in responsible tourism practices and environmental stewardship, ensuring Scotland’s continued appeal as a premier destination for country sports enthusiasts.

Congratulations again to all of the winners and to all of those nominated in the awards.”

BASC Scotland director, Peter Clark, said the awards played a crucial role in recognising the dedication and excellence of those who made outstanding contributions to the sector.

He said: “Country sports are a vital component of Scotland’s tourism industry and these awards are a testament to the relentless efforts and ingenuity of those who propel this sector forward.”

Neil Christison, regional director of VisitScotland, provided further insight into the broader impact of country sports on Scotland’s tourism economy.

He commented: “This sector not only attracts thousands of visitors from across the world, but also supports local communities, preserves natural habitats, and promotes responsible and sustainable tourism practices.”

Selena Barr, co-founder of Fieldsports Press and one of the award judges, said she was ‘honoured’ to have been asked to help judge. She said: “Country sports tourism plays a pivotal role throughout Scotland, so it is immensely important to shine a light on those that are going the extra mile.

“Top-drawer game shooting, fishing and deer stalking is something that is universally associated with Scotland worldwide, so it makes sense from a marketing point of view to hold awards which further cement that in the minds of overseas tourists.”

Awards were presented to:

Best Sporting Estate – Kingairloch Estate;

Best Sporting Agency – International Hunting Scotland;

Best Sporting Innovator – Twin Peakes Fly Fishing;

Best Sporting Accommodation – Buccleuch Arms;

Best Sporting Retailer – Campbell’s of Beauly.

The following were highly commended at the ceremony for their contribution and excellence in the country sports tourism sector: Findrack Sporting, Gordon Castle Estate, R Macleod and Son, SAC Sporting, and Logiealmond Estate.