Businesses in and around Helensburgh have been urged to apply for a prestigious tourism award – and continue the legacy of previous local winners.

VisitScotland’s Scottish Thistle Awards have opened their nominations until May 12 and are calling on Helensburgh and Lomond businesses to submit their applications.

David Adams McGilp, VisitScotland regional director for the area, said: “The Scottish Thistle Awards offer the opportunity for individuals and businesses in Argyll to gain recognition for all the work they do to make the region and Scotland such a fantastic place to visit and stay.

“They mark an important celebration of the best in our industry as we continue to move towards recovery.

“The Scottish Thistle Awards showcase the very best of Scotland’s tourism sector.

“I would encourage those working in tourism and events in the region to get their entries in and help shine a spotlight on our area.”

The competition is no stranger to having winners and nominees from Helensburgh and Lomond.

Fiona Campbell of the Arrochar-based Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers won the Regional Ambassador Award last year.

In 2019 the owners of Ashfield House B&B, also in Arrochar, secured gold for the west of Scotland at that year's Thistle Awards.

Other past winners of regional prizes from the area include the Scottish Submarine Centre in Helensburgh, Knockderry House in Cove, and the Hinterland arts project at the former St Peter's Seminary in Cardross - the last of those way back in 2016.

The awards celebrate the best of the Scottish tourism industry with this year’s ceremony having prizes in 17 categories.

Nominees have to prove they cover the four key areas of a low carbon economy, inclusivity, thriving communities and Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage.

The Action Award, the Inclusive Tourism Award and the Celebrating Thriving Communities Award are three new categories added this year.

There are five regional award ceremonies, with the winners going on to the final national competition, which will be held in December 2023.

The regional finalists will be announced this summer with the ceremony taking place in autumn.

For more information and to send an application, visit: