Helix 28 October 2022

Five-star achievements for The Helix, Home of The Kelpies


It’s been a week of accomplishments for Falkirk Council as The Helix, Home of The Kelpies soars for excellence in the tourism industry and continues to put Falkirk and Grangemouth on the map.

Not only did The Helix, Home of the Kelpies achieve 100% perfection in their latest visitor attraction mystery visit programme, but they also come away with a win on Thursday evening at the VisitScotland’s Regional Thistle Awards, held at Prestonfield House, Edinburgh, which honoured the very best businesses and events in the tourism industry.

The Helix won the award for `Best Visitor Attraction Experience` and will go on to the National Final to be held in February 2023. Falkirk Council was also shortlisted for `Outstanding Cultural Event` for last year’s Canal Encounters. Whilst Canal Encounters did not win, being shortlisted was still fantastic recognition with more than 500 submissions to the awards this year.

Alan Hunter, Duty Officer at The Helix, Home of the Kelpies, Falkirk Council picked up the award and said “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the team. The park provided a lifeline to the local community throughout the pandemic and the team worked tirelessly to ensure the community and visitors from further afield were welcomed, felt safe, and enjoyed a five-star experience.”

Councillor Paul Garner, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development said: “Tourism is beginning to thrive again in the Falkirk area following COVID-19 and is so very important for our local economy and jobs. Winning this prestigious national award reflects the dedication and commitment to the high standards found at this and other locations and ensures visitors have the best experience possible. All of the staff that work at these venues should reflect how impressive the judges found these attractions and their ongoing hard work to maintain this standard is to be applauded and shows how we are up there with the best tourist attractions in Scotland today.”

The celebrations continue for The Helix with the recently published visitor attraction mystery visit results, where it achieved 100% perfection in the undercover inspection. At the start of the year, we embarked upon the Visitor Attraction Mystery Visitor Benchmarking Programme. Launched across the UK by award-winning research consultancy BVA BDRC, this first-of-its-kind product has been developed in conjunction with ASVA (Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions) following the success of a pilot programme undertaken at selected member attractions last year.

Unlike other mystery visit programmes, as well as receiving the results from the visit to our participating sites, these are benchmarked against the wider sector. The visits take place approximately every three months, to help visitor attractions ensure visitors are getting the best possible customer experience. The Helix and Callendar House have consistently scored above 90%, and the team at The Helix were delighted to receive their first 100% score earlier this week.

When the national results from all the mystery visits were compiled, The Helix achieved a joint second-best in the country with Callendar House a close third equal.

Lesley O’Hare, Cultural Services Manager at Falkirk Council said “This is a fantastic achievement for the team at The Helix, Home of The Kelpies. This award recognises the consistent hard work and dedication to making the Helix a five-star visitor attraction where visitors can be assured of receiving a warm welcome. We are incredibly proud that our world-renowned attraction has been recognised by our peers in the industry”.

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