ABBOTSFORD has been rated Best Visitor Attraction in the UK by visitors from North America.

The Award was given by Irish coach tour operator, CIE Tours, which recognises the quality of the UK’s hotels and visitor attractions by giving an Award of Excellence to those who have received a greater than 90% customer satisfaction rating over the previous year.

The Company gives special recognition to the best performing tourism provider in 12 categories and Abbotsford scooped the award for Best Overall Visitor Attraction, meaning that it was judged best in the UK by more than 10,000 visitors who CIE brought to the UK in 2022, receiving the Gold Award as category winner.

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The awards are based on feedback on around 300 providers of accommodation, dining, tours and attractions from throughout the UK, with merit awards being given to all venues achieving over 90% in satisfaction. The providers with the best satisfaction score in each category are recognised with a Gold Award.

CIE Tours Ireland’s leading in-bound tour operators, having - over the course of its 91-year history - brought more than three million visitors from North America to tour Ireland.

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Since the 1990’s, CIE Tours’ offerings have included Scotland and the rest of the UK, with combination tours of Scotland/UK and Ireland becoming some of the most popular in recent years.

In 2022, demand for combined tours of Scotland and Ireland exceeded other destinations, reaching 2019 levels and 2023 is already on course to exceed this benchmark.

Stephen Cotter, Chief Operations Officer of CIE Tours said; “We are delighted to report a strong recovery in our Scottish and UK tours since international travel re-opened following the pandemic. I want to acknowledge the resilience of our tourism partners who, having had a very difficult few years, enthusiastically welcomed back our visitors once restrictions were lifted. Their professionalism is reflected in the feedback from our visitors with overall satisfaction levels in 2022 only slightly less than 2019, despite a very challenging year for travel.

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“We are very encouraged by the pipeline of bookings for the coming year, particularly in Scotland, which are ahead of expectations, and we look forward to ensuring that our partners and our host communities continue to benefit from our success in attracting visitors to travel to Scotland and the rest of the UK.”