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59° NORTH – Winner of the inaugural Orkney Tourism Awards – Most Innovative Visitor Experience

Winners of the inaugural Orkney Tourism Awards were announced at a gala event held in Kirkwall at the weekend.

Organised by Destination Orkney, the awards included categories for visitor attraction of the year, green innovation and the best welcome to the islands.

In total, 13 accolades were up for grabs on the night, with eight of the winners selected after public voting from local people and visitors to Orkney over the past year.

The winners of the 2022 Orkney Tourism Awards

Orkney’s islands were well represented at the event with Sanday-based pizzeria 59 Degrees North named most ‘Innovative Visitor Experience’, and Westray’s Saintear bistro winning ‘Best Newcomer to Tourism’.

Other winners on the night included the Ness of Brodgar Trust, Fernvalley Wildlife Centre, and Skaill House Falconry, who each took home awards won through public votes.

Each successful business claimed a special trophy – sponsored by NorthLink Ferries – featuring an original design by local artist Ruth D Brough of Orkney Inspired Art, with each piece representing the Ring of Brodgar, one of Orkney’s most famous archaeological sites.

Now the winners will be put forward by Destination Orkney for the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards and the Thistle Awards later this year.

Destination Orkney’s destination manager, Ailsa Heal, said: “Congratulations to all of our finalists and of course to our winners on the night. We wanted our inaugural awards to be a celebration of Orkney’s tourism industry and the people that work so hard providing an incredible welcome to the visitors that come here from around the world.

“We also wanted to give our members the chance to enjoy a fun evening together before the 2023 tourism season begins in earnest. We’re hopeful that our awards will become a bi-annual event and we can continue to highlight and support the work our talented members put in throughout the year.”