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Camera Obscura is crowned the
National Winner for Innovation in Tourism

Camera Obscura & World of Illusions is celebrating a monumental win after being crowned National Winner for ‘Innovation in Tourism’ in Scotland at the 2023 Scottish Thistle Awards.

The Scottish Thistle Awards honour the very best in the hospitality, tourism and events sector and winning is the highest accolade.

For almost thirty years these awards have shone a spotlight on the excellence of the top tourism operators. A total of 17 businesses and individuals were honoured at the national final on 1 December 2023.

Camera Obscura & World of Illusions was recognised for its creativity, ingenuity, and sheer hard work in delivering an exceptional, world class, unique, fun and interactive visitor experience. In addition, it stood out for its outstanding, inclusive customer care and how it has grown Scottish audiences through both new seasonal events and collaboration with local organisations.

The VisitScotland 5-star rated attraction also proved its commitment to responsible tourism with new sustainability practices, supporting the national tourism strategy Outlook 2030, for Scotland to be a world leader in 21st century tourism. Camera Obscura has also just won a Living Wage Scotland award and won the Central and East regional Thistle Award for Best Visitor Attraction.

General Manager, Andrew Johnson said “We were up against some outstanding organisations, so are delighted to have won. We’re very proud of our team for the way they look after our many visitors and for putting so much into making our attraction a fantastic, innovative visit for all ages. We would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated for an award.”

Steven Walker, chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards industry panel said: “The Scottish Thistle Awards mark an important celebration of the very best of our tourism and events industry and the positive impacts the industry brings to Scotland. Whether it’s quality food and drink, thrilling adventure activities, or friendly and welcoming faces, the Scottish Thistle Awards celebrate all aspects of what makes Scotland a fantastic place to visit. Congratulations to this year’s winners, each demonstrating innovation, collaboration and sustainable practices and supporting the ambition of the national tourism strategy, Outlook 2030, for Scotland to be a world leader in 21st century tourism.”

Around 400 guests attended the special event that marks the culmination of the Scottish Thistle Awards programme for 2023. The evening was hosted by TV presenter Jennifer Reoch and broadcaster Gary Innes with entertainment by Cammy Barnes. 

Camera Obscura & World of Illusions is a 5-star VisitScotland rated visitor attraction in the heart of Edinburgh and last year it was the 7th most visited paid attraction in Scotland. Housed in an historic building, it offers visitors the chance to get hands-on with over 100 interactive illusion exhibits and see a demonstration of the 170-year-old Camera Obscura and outstanding panoramic views of the city from the Rooftop Terrace. It has something to entertain all ages and is open every day from early until late, all year.

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