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B&B Owner Joan Campbell Celebrates Silver Thistle Success

27th October 2007

Photograph of B&B Owner Joan Campbell Celebrates Silver Thistle Success

A Highland woman has become the first ever bed and breakfast owner to scoop the most prestigious prize in the Scottish tourism industry for 2007.

Joan Campbell's Silver Thistle success is a fitting end to over thirty years in the tourism industry and comes in the same week that the Sutherland businesswoman announced her retirement from running the Sheiling B&B near Thurso.

The esteemed VisitScotland accolade has been awarded to Joan in recognition of her outstanding dedication to supporting the wider tourism industry in Scotland during the past three decades.

Joan has welcomed thousands of visitors to Scotland since starting her business and now joins leading figures in the tourism industry in receiving the VisitScotland accolade which celebrates excellence.

VisitScotland Chairman Peter Lederer said: "Joan is an unsung hero of Scottish tourism and has worked tirelessly during the last 30 years to welcome thousands of visitors from around the world to Scotland and ensure that they have a truly memorable stay.

"Her commitment to quality, from the locally sourced ingredients in her famous Scottish breakfast to her annual decorating sprees, has won her a string of awards including five stars from VisitScotland and has kept visitors coming back year after year for more.

"And as if making her own business a success wasn't enough, Joan has also dedicated an enormous amount of time and effort into supporting the wider tourism industry and making Scotland a must visit, must return destination.

"I congratulate her and all the other businesses here tonight on their success and wish Joan the best of luck in her retirement."

Tourism Minister Jim Mather said: "Tourism iscrucial to Scotland's economic well-being andits success is driven by the passion of businesses large and small - as Joan Campbell demonstrates so well. Joan and all theother Thistle Award winners arerole models that the wholeof the Scottish hospitality industrywould be wise to follow.

"The secret is out. Ifeveryone in the industry works with the same enthusiasm and dedication as our winners, we can reach the higher levels of customer satisfaction that will make our revenue and profit aspirations easy to achieve.

"I am delighted to see that theseindividual contributions to the industry, the Scottish economy and the reputation of our country have been rightly recognised tonight."

Scotland's top tourism businesses were also named during a glittering awards ceremony at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Created by VisitScotland, the Scottish Thistle Awards - now in their 16th year - are widely recognised as the mark of excellence and professionalism across Scottish tourism; awarding businesses for their contribution to the country's reputation as a first class visitor destination.

Every year, the prestigious Silver Thistle award seeks to recognise an individual with a true commitment to Scottish tourism; someone who may or not be involved in mainstream tourism but has worked over and above their own business interest to benefit our industry.

This year's winner Joan Campbell is a member of the North Highland Initiative, launched by HRH Prince Charles to increase the number of tourists to the area. She is represented on a number of Scotland's leading tourism committees including Chairing Scotland's Best B&Bs and is a member of VisitScotland's Quality Assurance Scheme.

This year, winners from each of the 10 categories were presented with their awards by celebrity impressionist and comedian Alistair McGowan.

Photo Sandy Young

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