Does my business qualify to enter?
The Awards are open to all tourism businesses across the state of Victoria across a range of categories. If your business can adequately fit in a category and meet the criteria, you are eligible to enter.
Is there a fee or cost to enter the Victorian Tourism Awards?
There is no fee to enter the Victorian Tourism Awards. The only cost associated with entering is the employee time required to complete the submission. Some businesses pay for a consultant to assist with their entry to ensure questions are answered adequately and to assist with limited resources or time constraints.
How can I get gain exposure of my business through the awards program?
All winners are profiled through a media campaign following the Gala Ceremony. This has included a dedicated feature in the Herald Sun and a dedicated program on Channel 9’s Postcards. Winners are provided a media kit, winner logos and a glass trophy to assist with ongoing promotion. There is significant media exposure generated across the state and winners are encouraged to stimulate greater exposure by promoting their win. State winners go on to be judged at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards where there is additional media exposure generated nationally and internationally.
What is the direct impact an awards win can have on a business?
Going through the awards criteria is not much different to going through a business planning process. The awards process is a prompt to address key issues, realign the business objectives, business values, positioning and most importantly, where the business is heading in the future.
The main impact should be the business growth, innovation and development opportunities derived through the self-evaluation process. How much impact achieved will vary operator to operator depending on their ability to action the key areas of growth listed in their entry. This could be short or long-term growth.
Winners will also begin to be seen as a leader in their field by industry, peers and consumers. Ultimately a winner should expect to achieve a boosted profile which will assist in capturing media opportunities and marketing the business as a winner (using the winner logos) in communications. The win should be highlighted as a competitive edge to future marketing campaigns and onsite promotion.
Is there a cost to attend the awards workshops?
Workshops are free to enter and usually include hints and tips from a judge, changes in questions (from previous years) and rules of entry.
I'm a first-time entrant and missed attending a preparatory workshop. Would it be better to enter the following year?
Not at all. The workshops are incredibly useful for all entrants, however if you missed them, there are filmed versions you can watch at any time. Tip: The 2015 video goes through each question in detail as the questions changed considerably compared to previous years.
Is the awards program limited to businesses those who have operated for a specific length of time?
The awards program is open to all businesses and may enter every year without any exception unless Hall of Fame has been achieved at the national level and then the business cannot enter in that category for a period of two years. A new business that has commenced operating in the qualifying period (the financial year) must enter the ‘New Tourism Business’ category and no other categories.
Is it all about big business and big budgets to win the awards?
This is untrue – small and large tourism businesses have competed against each other every year and in most cases, the smaller businesses have won. Whilst smaller businesses have less resources, they usually have a better understanding of every aspect of their business and can answer each question in detail.
How does entering the Victorian Tourism Awards benefit my business?
Most past entrants will testify that entering the Victorian Tourism Awards assists their business greatly through self-evaluating their goals and objectives and being able to benchmark against key performer indicators and against competitors.
If you are recognised as a winner, you can market yourself as the best in the State or Nationally. Award winners are provided trophies to display at their business and logos to brand their communications which demonstrates a high-level of excellence and credibility to their customers.
Media and other major bodies such as government agencies look to winners as the leaders of the industry and profile their success with free exposure in communications and online.
Some categories are sponsored by partners of the Victorian Tourism Awards and provide the winners additional benefits such as free advertising or cash prizes.
Who nominates my business to enter for a Victorian Tourism Award?
Each business must nominate themselves and develop a submission that answers the questions in each category.
Do I have to complete my entry as soon as I have nominated?
NO, your nomination is your expression of interest to enter the Tourism Awards. Your entry (including 10 images) must be submitted by the due date.
Do I need to employ a professional submission writer to win?
Simply, no. Many past winners are entrants that have written their own submission. You know your business inside and out, top to bottom and no one can replicate your passion for it. Utilising the support services available such as attending the workshops and gaining a mentor will help you devise a competitive submission. It is permitted to use a professional writer if you have limited time or cannot explain your answers succinctly.
Am I able to re-enter in consecutive years?
Yes. All past entrants are encouraged to re-enter to achieve a first-time win or increase their chances at becoming a Hall of Fame winner which recognises those who have won a category in three consecutive years. By re-entering and winning at a State level, you increase your chances to be recognised as the best in country if you win at the Australian Tourism Awards.
If I have won Hall of Fame can I continue to enter?
Yes you can continue to enter year after year in the Victorian Tourism Awards regardless of whether you have won Hall of Fame (which recognises those who have won a category in three consecutive years). You are encouraged to continue entering until you have achieved Hall of Fame at the Australian Tourism Awards (which then requires you to stop competing in that category for two years at both State and National level).
How can I nominate somebody to be recognised as an individual (or a group) who have contributed to the Victorian tourism industry?
There are three ‘individual’ categories that recognise the efforts people have made to the Victorian tourism industry. Unlike the business categories that must be entered by the business itself, individual/s are recognised by a nomination made by anybody on their behalf. The three categories are:
- Outstanding Contribution by an Individual
- Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers
- Young Achiever Award
Will 'Finalists' be announced in advance of the Gala Ceremony?
Finalists are not revealed prior to the Gala Ceremony at the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards.
This is to ensure all entrants are equally recognised at the Gala Ceremony regardless of whether they win or not.
It’s a great achievement to enter the awards and the effort should be celebrated by the greater industry who attend.
This is considered the industry’s night of nights and operators often use the night to build relationships, create awareness and celebrate their efforts from the past year.
How do I know if I qualify to enter the New Tourism Business category and can I enter other categories as well?
You are classified as a new tourism business if you commenced operating in the qualifying period. If you enter this category, you are unable to enter additional business categories as you must have traded for the entire qualifying period.
Can I use my entry from the previous year/s?
Don’t assume the questions ask the same as previous years. Be sure to read all questions in case there have been some minor changes to the questions. You can certainly use generic information about your business however any results or activity to substantiate your answer but have taken place in the qualifying year (the financial year). Tip: Start with the most difficult first.
What will the new online Awards program mean to entrants?
From 2017, entrants will need to answer questions online instead of preparing a pdf submission as in previous years. Each question will also provide entrants with the ability to upload supporting images. Entrants will no longer need to conform to formatting rules, page limits and page layouts. Instead of the previous 30 page limit, there will now be a 12,500 maximum word limit and 25 image upload limit (unless stated). Every entrant will be able to print out a report of all responses once completed.