Award participants have their say

“The awards process has been a fantastic one for us.  From a business perspective it caused us to look really closely at what we do, and more importantly, what we should be doing!  Through that close scrutiny we have identified a number of key areas where we believe we can substantially enhance our business and grow.
The awards night was a fabulous event, a great opportunity to network and make contacts, and a chance to celebrate the winners - we will be back next year!”
Liz Waters, South West Institute of TAFE  

"I have been extremely proud of the professionalism of the awards judging panel and their commitment to quality outcomes. Through the efforts of the awards team, mentors and judges, I have watched the quality of award submissions continually improve reflecting I believe a raising of standards throughout the industry."
Stuart Ord, Chair VTA Judging Panel

"The mentoring component of the Victorian Tourism Awards ensures that entrants have the best possible support to prepare high quality submissions. The mentoring scheme matches award entrants with coaches who have extensive experience of the awards process (eg have prepared successful submissions leading to Hall of Fame, have judged at state or national level and are dedicated to the awards). An essential element of the awards process is raising service standards across the industry and the mentoring scheme focusses on providing peer support. It acknowledges that we all have more to learn and that the best way is often through collaboration with someone who has previously experienced the opportunities and pitfalls. The team of dedicated mentors is commited to advancing Victoria's tourism industry and to sharing knowledge and experiences. 
It has been a particular privilege to serve as chair of mentors since the role aligns closely with my own educational philosophy as a professor of tourism empahsising sharing of knowledge and experiences based on collaboration and sound research. The mentors have frequently commented how much they learn and entrants appreciate the collaborative, generous and open approach which characterises our tourism industry in Victoria."
Prof. Brian King, Chair VTA Mentor Panel    

“The mentoring session was informative while providing an insight into the expectations required to produce a quality submission and was extremely valuable in allowing us to put the finishing touches in our submission. Our mentor was enthusiastic and showed a real passion for the Tourism Industry.  She was fully prepared when we meet and tailored her comments to precisely fit our business.  Visiting us in a country region was a huge bonus and greatly appreciated.”
Cathy & Rick Edmonds, Emaroo Cottages 

"Entering the Tourism awards is a journey well worth taking. It helped a small business bring together and motivate staff, future goals and aspirations whilst highlighted hidden excellence within our business.  Participating in the workshops helped us to identify our strengths and the amazing unique elements our business has to offer. The workshops and guidance kept our team on track giving us the ability to reach deadlines whilst providing a huge sense of achievement with a submission our team are so very proud of."
Torie Mackinnon - Moonraker Dolphin Swims 

"Attending the judges feedback session and workshops gave us a wonderful insight into how a submission is created and judged, outlined the commitment required and was important in helping us to write and format our awards submission."
Michael Johnson, Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park 

“The Victorian Tourism Awards process provides us with the motivation to really focus on and evaluate our business processes in the lead up to the award submission drafting annually. The mentoring program has provided us with invaluable support to ensure that each year we are refining our submission as well as our operational practises. The award submission provides a business focus from a management team perspective whilst the on-site judging ensure that each member of our team feels motivated to contribute to the success of our submission by ensure that the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa beautifully represents to the judge what our team offers to our guests each and every day.”
Kim Whitehouse, Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa 

“Winning the award has certainly increased our visitation, especially first time visitors. It has also highlighted some areas for improvement and allowed us to get an all round view of the business.”
Jessica Browne, PA to Max Paganoni, Wedding & Events Co-ordinator - Max's at Red Hill Estate 

“Entering the awards has helped us identify our strengths and understand our goals more clearly.  It made us strive to be on top of our game both internally and in the market place.  Being recognised in this way has contributed to over 22% increase in our business after our first award.  I highly recommend it!”
George Josevski, Managing Director - Bunyip Tours

“Entering the Victorian Tourism Awards is a fantastic opportunity for the Bendigo Visitor Centre to showcase our varied products and services while encouraging us to take the time to really look at what we have achieved but also what we can achieve in the future.
There is a fantastic marketing advantage through being an award winning Visitor Centre but overwhelmingly the team pride and morale is priceless.
The Bendigo Visitor Centre team of staff and volunteers is proud to be part of a winning team and proud to be a benchmark for other Visitor Centres to look to for leadership and innovation.”
Kathryn Mackenzie, Executive Manager, Tourism & Events – Bendigo Visitor Centre, City of Greater Bendigo 

“Winning of the award gives you an additional sense of satisfaction over above what you feel from just finishing the submission.  It is personally rewarding, it is culturally beneficial for the business and breeds innovation & awareness of what a business is capable of within the context of the broader tourism industry for all staff.    Commercially it empowers you to leverage & endorse your marketing promotions with logo display & award information.  It sets up a benchmark for business planning & measurability which is essential for bottom line revenue growth.”
Nicola Smith, Business Development and Marketing Manager, – Habitat HQ
“The Victorian Tourism Awards are the pinnacle awards for the tourism and hospitality industry. They celebrate and acknowledge tourism businesses and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievements and successes. To win the awards is an accolade and does set you apart from your competitors.  It has raised the profile of the museum to the industry, Government, Stakeholders and to our visitors. This is priceless.”
Maree Martin, Marketing Manager  – Melbourne Museum 

“The Victorian Tourism Award was a wonderful tribute to the energy our small but passionate not-for-profit team has contributed over the past 19 years and, more broadly, a credit to Victoria’s food and wine industry. It is an honour that continues to motivate our team and partners to drive the Festival to new heights and ensure we strive for best practice in every corner of our organisation.”
Sally Brown, Public Relations Manager - Melbourne Food and Wine  

"As an entrant in the awards process it is so constructive to have the mentoring opportunity. The mentoring feedback has been critical to assisting our direction and to educating us on the judges perspective.  What we might think is fabulous due to emotional attachment may not be of concern to them. The internal deadlines have kept us on track and this element alone is one we are very appreciative off".
Nicola Smith, Business Development & Marketing Manager - Habitat HQ 

 "Entering the Tourism Awards is a really daunting task ... however with the guidance of my mentor and the having the opportunity to have a 'pre-assessment' has been wonderful. I would highly recommend the mentor program as it has provided me with support and encouragement and valuable feedback".
Janine Rose, General Manager, Otway Estate - Winery & Brewery  

 “The mentoring took out the added stress which is a natural part of an enormous but highly valuable process of entering the Victorian tourism Awards.”
Denise Castro, Marketing and Industry Liaison Coordinator – Destination Melbourne 

 “We have found the mentor program and workshops to be of invaluable assistance.  The program has provided clearer direction when writing our submission and evaluating our business.”
Shannyn Kiss, Latrobe Visitor Information Centre Coordinator – Latrobe Visitor Information Centre   

"Attending the workshop gives entrants an exceptional insight into how a submission is created and judged, outlines the commitment required and highlights the ultimate rewards of participating in the awards program. It is an extremely valuable and motivating component of the process."
Anthea Jones, BIG4 BENDIGO, Ascot Holiday Park   

"Trust volunteers at Gulf Station, many of whom have supported this pioneer farm for three decades, were delighted and proud to have been nominated, and thrilled to be the winners of the Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer/s category in the 2009 Victorian Tourism Awards. 
The fact they were specially singled out for acknowledgement from over 550 Trust volunteers at many other Trust sites in Victoria, renewed and further strengthened their enthusiasm.  Acknowledgement of Gulf Station's volunteers' bravery and success in stemming the Black Saturday bushfires that encroached on the property was much deserved. 
Winning the award has given a boost to our volunteers especially whilst redevelopment of this magnificent cultural attraction is in progress. Volunteers' momentum has a renewed spark in continuing their farm garden maintenance and restoration of farm equipment in readiness for an exciting re-launch of this unique heritage attraction. " 
Martin Purslow, Chief Executive Officer, National Trust of Victoria – Gulf Station Volunteers   

“We found the awards process to be very positive – one we would recommend to any business.  Aside from the potential for statewide recognition, it encouraged us to put a spotlight on every single aspect of our business.  The application provided a rigorous auditing tool that will serve us well in so many ways.”
Travis Lee, Manager – Sea all Dolphin Swims    

"I didn't think we would win but we did and it has had such an effect on my staff and business perceptions. We have seen a 17% increase since we won, plus increased local community support with volunteers, functions and sponsorships"
Peter Abbott, Manager Tourism Services Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Hall of Fame Winner (Tourist Attractions) 

"Process straight forward and time lines are very clear. Can't see how it can be made easier"
Ross Digby, Associate Director Centre for Hospitality, Cookery & Bakery Homlesglen. Winner 2008 & 2009 (Tourism Education & Training).

The whole process is incredibly worthwhile and we are very keen to enter again next year to see if we can’t improve through the experience gained in the initial year.
Peter McConvill, Director/Proprietor, Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa & Wellness Retreat (Unique Accommodation) 

 "My Mentor went above and beyond my expectations of the mentoring service. She thoroughly read my draft submission and her advice was much appreciated in shaping the final submission. Not only was she a 'second set of eyes', but she drew on her expertise in having completed winning submissions. I was really glad I registered for the mentoring program and would highly recommend it for entrants".
Penny Olive, Business Development Manager Conservation Volunteers Australia, Winner (Excellence in Sustainable Tourism)     

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:32