TOURISM bosses are celebrating after Glasgow's newest museum won a five star rating.
The prestigious VisitScotland award will adorn the Riverside Museum, which now ranks alongside Glasgow Science Centre, the Hampden Experience and Kelvingrove Art Gallery on the list of the city's five-star attractions.
VisitScotland presented the award to the transport museum after a visit by an undercover inspector.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: "Riverside is amazing – I love it.
"Last week I was with people who are in charge of hundreds of million dollar budgets for global companies.
"We took them to various places, including Riverside, and they were amazed that despite the recession, we are still building things. Riverside is a prime example of that.
"You go round the world and people are not building anything like Riverside because of the recession.
"It is a huge show of confidence for Glasgow and Scotland that we are still building leisure facilities and that they are clearly successful, despite all the economic challenges."
Mr Cantlay said a VisitScotland five star award was highly regarded in the leisure industry.
He added: "It shows a lot of work and attention on the part of the visitor attraction, especially as Riverside is so busy.
"To keep its five star rating means it has to maintain that level and standard of service to everyone who walks through the door.
"I know everyone involved has worked very hard to achieve it so huge congratulations to them."
Five star attractions are visited secretly each year and rated on the approach to the building, the arrival, attraction, catering, retail and toilets.
Archie Graham, chairman of Glasgow Life, which runs the city's museums, said: "Riverside has been a class act since the day it opened.
"The museum has already welcomed more than 1.5million visitors and been nominated for and won a string of awards whilst firmly establishing itself as one of the most popular destinations in Scotland.
"This five star rating is further proof, if any was needed, of the exceptional quality of the building.
"Riverside Museum joins Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum in holding five star status, demonstrating once again the exceptional standard of Glasgow's museums."
Kelvingrove, which is one of Scotland's most popular free attractions, has 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries displaying some 8000 objects.
AND the Science Centre, opened in 2001, has more than 250 interactive exhibits, a theatre and planetarium, the first Imax cinema in Scotland and a viewing tower, although there have been problems with this.
At the Hampden Experience, football fans can enjoy more than 2500 exhibits in 14 galleries, walk amongst Scotland's footballing legends in the Hall Of Fame and take a stadium tour.
Another five star site close to Glasgow is the Auchentoshan Distillery, between Clydebank and Old Kilpatrick. It was established in 1823 and offers guided tours to visitors.
Scott Taylor, chief executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: "This is a fantastic achievement for the Riverside Museum.
"It has fast become Glasgow's – and one of Scotland's – most popular tourist attractions having welcomed more than 1.5m visitors in little over a year.
"Receiving this coveted rating sees the Riverside join an exceptionally diverse list of city attractions that can boast five star credentials."