Categories

PLEASE NOTE: The criteria and questions set on this page is relevant to the 2021 awards program. These may change in 2022.

Entrants are encouraged to enter the category that best reflects their core business.

Categories and criteria are set by the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) on behalf of all States and Territories.

All activities, achievements and innovations referred to within submissions must have occurred within the qualifying period – 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2021.

Winners of categories 1 through to 25 are automatically judged at the Australian Tourism Awards for a chance to be recognised as the best in the country. The Top Tourism Town Awards will also proceed to the national awards, but will run at a different schedule.

IMPORTANT – DOWNLOAD PDF: Rules and Regulations for 2021. This applies to all categories.

NEW

Top Tourism Town Awards

The Top Tourism Town Awards recognise destinations’ dedication to tourism and visitor servicing, with nominations accepted from Accredited Visitor Centres on behalf of a town.

The Top Tourism Town Awards will be presented into two categories:

  • Top Tourism Town Award: those with a population over 5,000 people.
  • Top Small Tourism Town Award: those with a population under 5,000.

Please note: winners of each State/Territory will compete in the national level. The timeframe for this Award is different from the others.

This is now closed.

NEW

City of Melbourne Innovation & Resilience Award

The inaugural City of Melbourne Tourism Innovation and Resilience Award celebrates businesses in both Greater Melbourne and Regional Victoria who have exemplified resilience by transforming their business operations to ensure survival.

This award will recognise businesses that have demonstrated innovative ways in which they overcame or adjusted to the various impacts placed on the industry due to global and national events to be resilient and recover.

Businesses that have submitted their entry for the 2021 Victorian Tourism Awards* will automatically be in the run for the CoM Tourism Innovation & Resilience Award.

*This new award excludes:

Entries in the Tourism Marketing & Campaigns category

Entries in the Local Government Award for Tourism category

Entries submitted by City of Melbourne

01

Major Tourist Attractions

This category recognises natural or built attractions that people visit for pleasure and interest. Entrants in this category attract amongst the highest visitor numbers during the qualifying period for their State/Territory.

Sponsored by: Melbourne Airport

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

02

Tourist Attractions

This category recognises natural or built attractions that people visit for pleasure and interest. Entrants in this category attract significant visitor numbers during the qualifying period for their State/Territory.

Sponsored by Tourism Australia.

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

03

Major Festivals and Events

This category recognises tourism leisure festivals, events and exhibitions that enhance the profile/awareness and appeal of the destination they are held in as well as creating economic impact, increased visitation and community involvement.

This category is open to (but not limited to) sporting, arts, historical, cultural, literary, comedy, culinary and general interest festivals, events and exhibitions with local, interstate and international visitor attendance over 50,000 or recognised by the STO as a major event on their event calendar.

Sponsored by: Melbourne Airport

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

04

Festivals & Events

This category recognises tourism leisure festivals, events and exhibitions that enhance the profile/awareness and appeal of the destination they are held in as well as creating economic impact, increased visitation and community involvement.

This category is open to (but not limited to) sporting, arts, historical, cultural, literary, humorous, culinary and general interest festivals, events and exhibitions with local, interstate and international visitor attendance under 50,000 or NOT recognised by the STO as a major event on their event calendar.

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

05

Ecotourism

This category recognises ecologically sustainable tourism businesses with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas. Entrants in this category foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.

Sponsored by: Parks Victoria

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Note:  Businesses entering this category will need to complete the Ecotourism Standards questions. Please note that Victoria accepts the Eco Tourism Australia Certification. Contact the Program Coordinator for more details.

06

Cultural Tourism

This category recognises tourism businesses that foster a greater understanding and appreciation of authentic culture, history, heritage and/or the arts.

Sponsored by: City of Melbourne

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

07

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island Tourism

This category recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism businesses that demonstrate authenticity and cultivate a greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history and traditions.

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

08

Tourism Retail & Hire Services

This category recognises businesses that sell/provide goods or hire services which contribute to the tourism industry. The contribution made to the tourism industry can be economical (e.g. retail, galleries), experience based (traditionally non-tourism specific experiences, e.g. shopping precincts) or service based (e.g. digital solutions for travellers or tourism businesses).

Note: Category descriptor ‘e.g., digital solutions for travellers or tourism businesses’, does not refer to online
bookings/OTAs.

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

09

Visitor Information Services

This category recognises the consistent delivery of high quality and face to face information services to the visitor. This category is open to Visitor Information Centres/Tourist Offices, Local Tourist Associations and Regional Tourism Organisations.

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Note: Visitor Information Centres that are not accredited will need to complete the VIS Standards questions.

10

Business Event Venues

This category recognises venues who provide high quality facilities specifically designed for business visitors, e.g. meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions.

Sponsored by Business Events Victoria

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

11

Major Tour & Transport Operators

This category recognises a business who makes a major contribution in the combined provision of touring and transport services. This category is open to businesses with 15 or more annual full-time equivalent employees.

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

12

Tour & Transport Operators

This category recognises a business who makes a major contribution in the combined provision of touring and transport services. This category is open to businesses with fewer than 15 annual full-time equivalent employees.

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

13

Adventure Tourism

This category recognises outdoor adventure tourism experiences that involve visitor participation and a personal challenge.

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

14

Tourism Marketing & Campaigns

This category recognises creativity and innovation in the promotion of tourism products, services and/or destinations. The focus can be for a specific singular or ongoing campaign or ongoing integrated marketing approach delivering innovative marketing/campaigns that supports the promotion of the tourism industry.

This category is open to digital enterprises, Regional Tourism Organisations, Local Tourist Associations, Visitor Information Centres, Online Travel Agents, local government and marketing alliances. This is not for individual tourism products.

Sponsored by: Storytowns

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

15

Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services

This category recognises all restaurants and catering services offering a tourism experience and/or servicing the tourism industry. It is not a food award but does recognise a significant contribution to tourism through the provision of food and beverage. This category is open to hotel or stand-alone restaurants, event caterers, pubs and cafés.

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

16

Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries

This category recognises wineries, distilleries and boutique breweries that offer a cellar door experience and create a significant contribution to tourism.

Sponsored by Regional Development Victoria

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

17

Caravan & Holiday Parks

This category recognises tourism excellence in a caravan or holiday park. The focus of this award is on both the facilities and services that enhance the tourism experience.

This category is open to caravan or holiday parks that offer cabin and tenting accommodation and must meet a 3-5 Caravan & Holiday Park Star Rating standard (pre-assessment or final rating).

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

Businesses entering this category are also required to meet accommodation standards specific to the category. This can be demonstrated via the official Star Ratings OR through a pre-assessment rating.

18

Hosted Accommodation

This category recognises hosted accommodation that offers a bed & breakfast, farm stay, cottage or other intimate accommodation experience and must meet a 3-5 Hosted Accommodation Star Rating standard (pre-assessment or final rating).

Serviced apartments, hotels and resorts should consider entry into one of categories 21-24 which best fit their product. For companies that are managing multiple self-contained properties they should focus on one of their properties.

> Download questions

Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

Businesses entering this category are also required to meet accommodation standards specific to the category. This can be demonstrated via the official Star Ratings OR through a pre-assessment rating.

19

Unique Accommodation

This category recognises tourism excellence in accommodation providing a unique tourism experience that includes an overnight accommodation experience with an included activity. The focus of this award is on the uniqueness of the tourism experience.

This category is open to properties developed around unconventional accommodation infrastructure that includes an activity (passive or active). Entry is open – but not limited to – tented holidays, houseboats, tree houses, underground accommodation and yacht charters.

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

20

Self Contained Accommodation

This category recognises tourism excellence in accommodation providing guests with non-serviced accommodation and the freedom of self-sufficiency. The focus of this award is on both the facilities and services that enhance the tourism experience.

This category is open to accommodation that offers a self-catered accommodation experience and meets a 3-5 Self Catering Accommodation Star Rating Standard.

For companies that are managing multiple self-contained properties it is recommended they focus on one of their properties.

> Download questions

Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

Businesses entering this category are also required to meet accommodation standards specific to the category. This can be demonstrated via the official Star Ratings OR through a pre-assessment rating.

21

3 - 3.5 Star Accommodation

This category recognises serviced accommodation that meets the 3-3.5 Star Rating standard (pre-assessment or final rating). The focus of this award is on both the facilities and services that enhance the tourism experience.

This category is open to accommodation experiences that meets a 3 to 3.5 Star Rating Standard in any Star Rating category.

> Download questions

Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

Businesses entering this category are also required to meet accommodation standards specific to the category. This can be demonstrated via the official Star Ratings OR through a pre-assessment rating.

22

4 - 4.5 Star Deluxe Accommodation

This category recognises serviced accommodation that meets the 4 or 4.5 Star Rating Standard (pre-assessment or final rating). The focus of this award is on both the facilities and services that enhance the tourism experience.

This category is open to accommodation experiences that meets a 4 or 4.5 Star Rating Standard in any Star Rating category.

> Download questions

Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

Businesses entering this category are also required to meet accommodation standards specific to the category. This can be demonstrated via the official Star Ratings OR through a pre-assessment rating.

23

5 Star Luxury Accommodation

This category recognises serviced accommodation that meets the 5 Star Rating Standard (pre-assessment or final rating). The focus of this award is on both the facilities and services that enhance the tourism experience.

This category is open to accommodation experiences that meets a 5 Star Rating Standard in any Star Rating category.

> Download questions

Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

Businesses entering this category are also required to meet accommodation standards specific to the category. This can be demonstrated via the official Star Ratings OR through a pre-assessment rating.

24

New Tourism Business

This category recognises new tourism businesses that have commenced trading, visitation or service delivery during the qualifying period*. This award recognises excellence in the planning and development of new tourism infrastructure and/or services. Tourism businesses that have commenced a new product or opened new infrastructure need to enter another category most applicable to the business.

*Please refer to the rules and criteria for details on the qualifying period for this award.

Sponsored by: City of Melbourne

> Download questions

Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

25

Excellence in Food Tourism

This category is open to food producers, providores, tour operators, cooking schools, food attractions, farm gate experiences, farmers markets, trails and other food tourism experiences in the State/Territory, featuring the State/Territory produce as the core component.

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Note: Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

26

Tourism Education and Training

This category is open to individual tourism businesses and tourism education and other registered training providers working to raise professional standards within the tourism industry by delivering tourism training, including online.

Please note: This Award is only offered at the Victorian Tourism Awards level. Winners in this category will not proceed to the Australian Tourism Awards.

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27

Local Government Award for Tourism

This category is open to all local government authorities and recognises excellence in tourism planning, the provision of tourism facilities and services, marketing, event development and management, and the overall contribution made both locally and overall to the Victorian tourism industry.

Please note: This Award is only offered at the Victorian Tourism Awards level. Winners in this category will not proceed to the Australian Tourism Awards.

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28

Excellence in Accessible Tourism

This category is open to Victorian tourism businesses or attractions delivering tourism products or services that are welcoming for people of all abilities. Entrants must demonstrate how they have developed a tourism experience to become more accessible.

Please note: This Award is only offered at the Victorian Tourism Awards level. Winners in this category will not proceed to the Australian Tourism Awards.

Sponsored by Department of Transport

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Entrants are required to demonstrate that they meet minimum business standards in order to enter the Tourism Awards. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism Framework OR as a part of the business standards question set within their submission.

29

Outstanding Contribution by an Individual

This award recognises the outstanding contribution by an individual to the Victorian tourism industry.

Please note: This Award is only offered at the Victorian Tourism Awards level. Winners in this category will not proceed to the Australian Tourism Awards.

> Download questions & criteria

30

Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers

This award celebrates the strong, ongoing personal commitment made by volunteers who freely give their time and skill, contributing to the professionalism of our industry and the positive image of tourism in Victoria.

Please note: This Award is only offered at the Victorian Tourism Awards level. Winners in this category will not proceed to the Australian Tourism Awards.

> Download questions & criteria

31

Young Achiever's Award

This award recognises an individual, less than 35 years of age, working in the tourism industry and their contribution to the development of a vibrant and professional tourism industry.

Please note: This Award is only offered at the Victorian Tourism Awards level. Winners in this category will not proceed to the Australian Tourism Awards.

> Download questions & criteria.

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