Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, produced by Unique Events, was last night announced as the National Winner of Scotland’s ‘Best Cultural Event or Festival’ at the 2017 Thistle Awards which were held at the EICC.

The Scottish Thistle Awards, dubbed as Scotland’s tourism industry’s Oscars, rewards every year the talents and ambitions of Scottish tourism industry leaders, who work tirelessly to put Scotland on the spotlight as a leading tourism country, with last night’s ceremony attended by special guest the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop.

Seeing off competition from across Scotland’s event industry including nominations from NVA’s Hinterland, Celebrate Aberdeen, Solas Festival and the Oban Winter Festival, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay was praised for its innovative approach, involvement of all audiences, whether local or visiting, and inspiration to showcase Scotland’s greatest features. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has helped identify Scotland, and Edinburgh in particular, as a world renowned winter destination and the ‘Home of Hogmanay’.

Unique Events, who have produced Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council since its inception in 1993, have built the festival into a world-renowned New Year celebration, showcasing the very best of Scottish music and artists, annually attracting audiences of over 150,000 to the city from over 80 countries and bringing economic benefit of over £40 million to the local economy. In recent years the festival has gone from strength-to-strength, enjoying record ticket sales in the last three sell-out festivals, presenting the very best in Scottish arts and culture including spectacular headline concerts from Biffy Clyro and Paolo Nutini.

Penny Dougherty, Director of Unique Events, said “As Edinburgh’s Hogmanay approaches its 25th anniversary, this recognition from the Scottish tourism industry as the Best Cultural and Festival Event in the country is a huge honour and greatly rewards the talents and huge efforts required by our fantastic team who consistently deliver a world-class festival.

“As an Edinburgh company, we are extremely proud of the continued success of Scotland’s New Year Festival and working with principals funders the City of Edinburgh Council we have grown Edinburgh’s Hogmanay into a global event, allowing our small city to take its rightful place on the world stage alongside New Year celebrations in Dubai, Sydney, Rio de Janiero, New York and London.”

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay was announced as the winner of the Edinburgh & Lothians region in November 2016, beating competition from Edinburgh’s Christmas Virgin Money Street of Light and the Royal Highland Show.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Festivals and Events Champion, City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This is a fitting award as we celebrate a milestone year for Edinburgh’s festivals, marking the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh The Festival City. This recognises the extraordinary success Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has once again been, and I would like to thank all those who have made this event such a great success, bringing in 150,000 revellers from all over the world to discover our fantastic capital city.”