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Craggan Outdoors wins ‘Best Visitor Attraction’ at Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards.

Craggan Outdoors - winner of Highlands & Islands Tourism Award 2012 Best Visitor AttractionMany congratulations to Wild Scotland member, Craggan Outdoors who four years on from being taken over by new owners, has been named the region’s ‘Best Visitor Attraction’ at the 2012 Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITAs),

Craggan Outdoors was shortlisted in the ‘Best Visitor Attraction’ category against Cruise Loch Ness & Highlands Unbridled, & after a tense period when a short video on each business was shown to the 300 or so guests, the name read out as the winner by host Mary Ann Kennedy was that of Craggan Outdoors.

Delighted owners & directors Keith & Jill Ballam took the stage to accept their award – kindly joint-sponsored by Calor & Empire HR – along with their Senior Instructor Graham McCullough who was the Ballam’s first recruit after taking over the business in October 2008. The accompanying image shows Keith, Jill & Graham accepting the award, flanked by representatives of the joint-sponsors.

Commenting on their success, Keith Ballam, owner & director of Craggan Outdoors said: “We are delighted to have achieved such recognition for what we offer at Craggan Outdoors, & it goes to show that with sufficient vision, dedication & energy, small businesses can compete on even terms with far bigger attractions. It also shows the value of perseverance, as this is the third year that we’ve been shortlisted, & it was third time lucky to actually win!”

The Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards (HITAs) is now in its seventh year, & through awards across thirteen categories serves to recognise businesses & individuals throughout the region’s tourism industry that offer the highest levels of customer awareness & service. The stature & importance of the awards was illustrated by the presence at the event of Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism, along with Dr Mike Cantlay, Chairman of Visit Scotland.

Craggan Outdoors now goes forward to represent the Highlands & Islands in the nationwide Scottish Thistle Awards on 9th November, where competition in the ‘Best Visitor Attraction’ category will come from three other regional winners, Stirling Castle, Cream O’ Galloway & The Famous Grouse Experience.

Craggan Outdoors, The Active Heart of the Cairngorms, is an outdoor activity centre with bunkhouse accommodation & licensed café venue. Based at Grantown-on-Spey in the Cairngorms National Park, the business has been in operation since 2003, & was taken over by current owners Keith & Jill Ballam in October 2008.

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