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Best Visitor Experience Award 2018

The ASVA Best Visitor Experience Award is a prestigious industry award celebrating the best in Scottish visitor attractions. Now in its 11th year, the Award is again kindly being supported by The Royal Yacht Britannia.

Last year’s Award was won by Oban Distillery. Their Brand Home Manager, Carol Bennett, had this to say about their success: Winning the Best Visitor Experience Award was a huge honour for the team at Oban Distillery Visitor Centre. The team were extremely proud that all the hard work they do, day in day out, had been recognised independently. The award was a fantastic morale boost for the team.

Carol’s advice for anyone planning to enter this year would be to “think hard about the continuous improvements that you have done recently at your attraction and document it all. Be honest and transparent and try to give a feel for what you and your team have been working on. Give yourself time to complete the form and be aware that the judges will come to your attraction to verify what you say”

Here are just some of the reasons you should enter this year’s Award:
• Completing the application form is a great way to reflect on recent achievements and innovations;
• Success gives a real boost to team morale;
• It can generate great publicity for your attraction…
• As well as fantastic recognition from within the industry;
• It’s free to enter!

The deadline for entries to be submitted is 5pm on Friday 15th June.

Award Guidelines:

If you are applying for this award, please remember the following:
  • Attractions entering the Award must be ASVA members.
  • Entries will be judged on the actual visitor experience during the visit but the application forms a crucial part of the pre assessment process.

  • All applicants will be visited. During the initial visit, the site will be judged on how closely it meets its own description of what it does, so you need to deliver exactly what you promise and every time!

  • A shortlist will be drawn up, which will be announced in October. All of the sites on the shortlist will be visited by the judging panel, chaired by Britannia Chief Executive, Bob Downie.

  • The winner will be announced during the Awards’ Ceremony at the ASVA Conference on Thursday 8th November.

  • Please remember that 2017 Best Visitor Experience Finalists are not eligible to apply for this year’s award. Also, please note, in order to encourage as many new entries as possible, if you have entered 2 or more times in the past 5 years and have not been shortlisted as a finalist, you cannot re-apply, unless you can show that you have made very significant investment and changes to improve the overall visitor experience.
  • We would encourage only a maximum of 2 entries from multi-site operators.
  • Please note that you are not able to save your application as you go so you may want to have your entry prepared in advance. Any questions, please contact
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1. What kind of visitor experience are you trying to deliver, how is it communicated to staff and what is the job title of the person responsible for managing its successful implementation?
2. What customer research do you do to check how well the planned visitor experience is actually being received by the customer?
3. How do you continuously improve the quality of your visitor experience?
4. What performance standards have you set for front of house staff to ensure that a consistently high visitor experience is being delivered?
5. How do you induct your new staff and what refresher training do more experienced customer focussed staff receive, and how often?
6. How do you keep in touch with best practice, what examples have you implemented and what were the benefits to the customer and the business?
7. Do you have any formal procedures for staff to pass on suggested improvements and if so what has been the most successful idea that you have implemented?
8. Given that 50% of the customer experience is emotional what have you done to improve the quality of your attraction by focussing on these emotions?
9. Who speaks up for the customer at your management meetings and what is their job title?
10. Why do you think that your visitor experience deserves to win this prestigious award?
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