Going through the awards program is similar to going through a business planning process. Many operators overlook this process in the day-to-day running of their business.
The Awards encourages entrants to undertake this important process to investigate key business issues, realign the business objectives, business values, positioning and most importantly, where the business is heading in the future. In addition, there is the added bonus of being recognised by industry and consumers as a winner for business excellence.
The main impact should be the business growth, innovation and development opportunities derived through the self-evaluation process. How much impact achieved will vary from 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.
Entering the Victorian Tourism Awards will give your business the opportunity to:
your business against peers and competitors
an accurate overview of your business position
and improve your business practices
opportunities for business growth
valuable feedback on your current business practices
brand awareness and leverage marketing opportunities
recognition from industry
to customers your aspiration and commitment to tourism excellence
the contribution of your team and motivate them to strive for excellence
Changes in 2021
The Tourism Awards have always been about celebrating the hard work and dedication in creating quality tourism experiences. This year we also want to celebrate resilience.
2020 saw many challenges faced by businesses. This year’s Awards program will continue to celebrate excellence and reward business innovation and exceptional customer service, as well as champion the resilience of our industry. Some adjustments have been made to the Awards program to enable businesses to share their stories on how they overcame the difficulties experienced in the last 18 months.
More than any other state, Victoria can really show how resilient our industry is!
How to Enter
There are few steps to entering the Victorian Tourism Awards:
1. Nominate your business by Wednesday 30 June 2021.
3. Complete your written submission by Tuesday 31 August 2021, 5pm – made online by answering a series of questions relevant to the category entered. View all categories and the questions-set here.
4. Receive a judge site visit inspection between September and October – individual categories do not receive a site visit.
*Business & Accommodation Standards
Please note that Quality Tourism Accredited businesses do not need to complete the Business Standards questions. Accommodation Standards apply to the accommodation categories (except Unique Accommodation). Star Rated properties do not need to complete the Accommodation Standards questions.
Visitor Information Centres that are not accredited will also need to complete the VIS Standards questions. Businesses entering the Ecotourism 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 on this.
Rules for Entry
A submission for an award category cannot be made unless a nomination has been made.
All entrants must adhere to the guidelines and nomination rules for the Victorian Tourism Awards. These rules along with the categories and questions are set in the national level by the Australian Tourism Industry Council.
DOWNLOAD PDF: 2021 changes, rules and criteria
View the key dates for the 2021 Victorian Tourism Awards here.
Have any questions?
Contact the Victorian Tourism Awards Program Coordinator
P: 03 7035 5717
Does my business qualify to enter?
The Awards are open to all tourism businesses across the state of Victoria, and 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?
States and Territories charge businesses a fee to nominate for the State/Territory Tourism Awards. However, VTIC will absorb the fee in 2021. Therefore, there is no fee for a business enter the 2021 Victorian Tourism Awards.
The only cost associated with entering is the employee time required to complete the submission. Some businesses may however choose to pay for a consultant to assist with their entry if they are time constrained or want to ensure that the submission is of high-quality but this is only optional.
How does entering the Victorian Tourism Awards benefit my business?
Most past entrants will testify that entering the Tourism Awards assists their business greatly through self-evaluation of their goals and objectives and being able to benchmark against key performer indicators and 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.
What is the direct impact an awards win can have on a business?
Winners will 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 further exposure to the business. The win should be highlighted as a competitive edge to future marketing campaigns and onsite promotion.
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 may include advertising, social media or print. Winners are provided a media kit, winner logos and a 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 Australian Tourism Awards where there is additional media exposure generated nationally.
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.
Do I need to employ a professional submission writer to win?
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 however permitted to use a professional writer if you have limited time or cannot explain your answers succinctly.
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.
Who should do the nomination for an individual category?
There are three individual categories in the Victorian Tourism Awards. They are:
- Outstanding Contribution by an Individual
- Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers
- Young Achiever Award (less than 35 years old)
For the Outstanding Contribution by an Individual and the Young Achiever Award, the individual needs to be nominated by someone else in the industry – they are acceptable from any party except the nominee.
For the Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers category, nominations are acceptable from any party, including the organisation, but not the nominees.
The nominator should also be writing the submission, and not the nominee. However, nominees can assist the nominator with the information required.
Please note individual categories are only run in the state level, so winners will not be competing in the Australian Tourism Awards.
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 must be submitted by the due date only. However, we encourage that you start early as there is quite a bit of work involved in putting your submission together.
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 of 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.
For individual categories, awards will not be made to the same person twice.
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 changes to it. You can certainly use generic information about your business however, any results or activity needs to be relevant to the qualifying year. Tip: Start with the most difficult first.
Even if you have a winning submission, don’t assume that you can just replicate the submission in the following year. In addition to the information needing to be relevant to the year of entry, the pool of entries can be higher, and businesses entering can be different.
You should always aim to improve your submission.
Will 'Finalists' be announced in advance of the Gala Ceremony?
Finalists are not revealed prior to the Gala Ceremony at the Victorian Tourism Awards.
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.