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North Coast 500 wins major industry prize in Scottish Rural Awards

By Philip Murray

Gruinard Bay in Wester Ross, on the North Coast 500. Picture: Philip Murray.
Gruinard Bay in Wester Ross, on the North Coast 500. Picture: Philip Murray.

A PRESTIGIOUS tourism award has been handed to the team behind the North Coast 500 touring route.

The coastal route won first place in the Rural Tourism category at the 2019 Scottish Rural Awards.

Judges praised the North Coast 500 for extending the tourist season in the North Highlands, adding that the independent company North Coast 500 Ltd had created “a piece of marketing genius, so much so other areas are copying it”.

Held at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, the Scottish Rural Awards brought together more than 300 key figures to celebrate the best of the Scottish countryside.

“We’re delighted to have won the rural tourism category at the Scottish Rural Awards. Since launching the North Coast 500 in 2015, it has been our vision to develop tourism in a proactive way in order to benefit the whole of the North Highlands. We’re thrilled to see this has been recognised by the judging team," said Tom Campbell, managing director of the North Coast 500.

Over the past four years, the North Coast 500 has been hailed as one of the best road trips in the world, and one of the top reasons for people to travel to Scotland. The route has been credited with boosting business by 20-25 per cent each year, extending the season from six to 10 months, and boosting the economy in excess of an additional £10 million.

The Scottish Rural Awards highlight the enterprise, skill and innovation of those who live and work in rural areas.

Now in their fifth year, the awards are judged by a panel of industry leaders and experts from across the country.

For more information about the North Coast 500, visit www.northcoast500.com

For a full list of winners from the 2019 Scottish Rural Awards, go to www.scottishruralawards.org

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