Award-winning tours

We are passionate about delivering word-class experiences for travellers with our unique Scotland tours and have a strong commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism. We make great efforts to minimise the environmental impact of our operations while giving our customers an authentic experience of Scotland.

This approach has been recognised by our customers who continue to recommend us world-wide and also by a range of tourism industry bodies. We are proud of our team and the recognition they deserve through these awards.


Regional Finalist for VisitScotland Thistle Award 2017/2018

Our Guides are the Scottish experts who want passengers to experience the best Scotland has to offer. These friendly locals pour their personalities into every tour, bring our heritage to life and deliver a fantastic customer experience. They all undergo our unrivalled training which achieved the 'Investors in People' recognition and are trained by Douglas Johnston who's not only been a Guide in the company for over 17 years but also has been shortlisted as a Tourism Hero by VisitScotland Thistle Awards.


'Tourism & Hospitality Hero'

TripAdvisor Traveller's Choice 

Highland Explorer Tours has always been dedicated to delivering great experiences and we're proud to say that we've been receiving TripAdvisor Traveller's Choice every year since 2013.

TripAdvisor is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features. With the Traveller's Choice acknowledgement, TripAdvisor honors hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travelers. This recognition helps travelers identify and book experiences that regularly deliver great service.


Green Tourism Business Scheme (Gold) 

Highland Explorer Tours received a Green Tourism Award under the VisitScotland approved Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) since 2016. 

The scheme was designed to help businesses improve their environmental performance and protect one of Scotland's most important assets, its natural environment. To gain a Green Tourism Award, businesses are graded against over 120 measures of best practice, reflecting a balance of environmental, economic and social issues. These cover everything from good management and communication, to efficient lighting and heating, as well as things like nature conservation, training practices, use of local crafts and produce, renewable energy and community support and involvement.


British Coach Tourism Awards 2017

Highland Explorer Tours was selected as a winner in the Medium Fleet Tour Operator category at the British Coach Tourism Awards. We were delighted that our commitment to quality, innovation and training, as well as an excellent industry reputation, were recognised by this prestigious award.



Scottish Outdoor & Leisure Awards Runner Up 2017

Highland Explorer Tour received the Runner Up title in the 'Best Booking Agent' category which recognises a high level of customer service of the Reservations Department.




Five stars in Edinburgh Ecostars Scheme

Highland Explorer Tours attains 5 stars in Edinburgh Ecostars Scheme.

ECOSTARS is a European-wide voluntary scheme to provide recognition and guidance on environmental best practice to Operators of goods vehicles, buses and coaches. The scheme uses a star rating system to grade individual vehicles and recognise operational and environmental performance. It aims to reduce the energy used by all types of transport fleets by encouraging more efficient operations in reducing fuel costs and emissions.

The City of Edinburgh Council and both the Scottish and UK Governments are supportive of such voluntary schemes so ECOSTARS is a sensible and relatively low cost way to improvement the quality of the transport fleet operating in Edinburgh.

Peter Duncan, General Manager (Operations) said "Highland Explorer Tours joined ECOSTARS Edinburgh to support the aim of providing a European-wide scheme which recognises the environmental efforts of fleet operators. We were delighted to be awarded 5 Stars because although we can always do more, it recognises the efforts we continually make to be the best at what we do."

If you want to find out more about the scheme clik here ECOSTARS. 


Finalist for VisitScotland Thistle Award 2010

Highland Explorer Tours was short-listed for a prestigious VisitScotland Thistle Award at the Scottish tourism industry Oscars.