Tourism Awards


Please note: With tourism businesses around Australia facing the worst disruption to their operations in recent history due to coronavirus (COVID-19), impacting on their ability to focus on anything other than survival, the organisers of the Australian Tourism Awards, NSW Tourism Awards and Victorian Tourism Awards have made the difficult decision to not proceed with these events for 2020.

The national and state awards programs are expected to return with renewed vigour in 2021.

Murray Regional Tourism invites tourism businesses from the Murray region considering entering the Victorian or NSW Tourism Awards for the first time to participate in the MRT Tourism Awards Support Program. The program is in its fifth year and has assisted dozens of tourism businesses from the Murray region to achieve outstanding success at the Regional, State and National level.

 What are the Tourism Awards?

The Victorian and NSW Tourism Awards programs have been running for 30 years and showcase and recognise leaders in tourism excellence. The Awards encourage businesses to meet and strive to exceed industry standards. The awards play an integral role in rewarding business excellence, innovation, industry professionalism, collaboration and initiative.

The Victorian and NSW Tourism Awards submission requirements are identical and are an online entry and site visit based competition for all tourism businesses and industry suppliers based in Victoria or NSW. Winners at the state awards automatically progress for judging at the national level in the annual Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

 Why enter tourism awards?

There is no denying completing an awards submission is challenging, however, there are many potential benefits to entering:

  • Demonstrate to staff and customers that you value excellence and continuous improvement;
  • Spend time reviewing and analysing your business to ensure you are up-to-date with industry best practice;
  • Benchmark your business against your peers;
  • Gain recognition for excellence in the industry;
  • Winning awards highlights to your visitors that you are a professional and trusted business which will help you stand out in the marketplace.

 Support program outline

Up to 5 first-time entrants from the Murray region will be offered fully subsidised one-on-one mentoring to complete their awards submission.

The program includes:

  • Initial brainstorming session to confirm your award category, discuss submission requirements and map out how to respond to each question;
  • Phone and email support during the submission writing process;
  • Partial and full draft submission reviews, with both verbal and written feedback.

Key dates

  • NSW Tourism Awards nominations due: 28th June
  • Victorian Tourism Awards nominations due: 30th June
  • NSW Tourism Awards submissions due: 13th August
  • Victorian Tourism Awards submissions due: 6th September
  • Awards gala ceremonies: November (date TBC)
  • Qantas Australian Tourism Awards: February 2020 (date TBC)

 Important information

  • If you have not entered the state awards for the past 3 years, you may be eligible for the first-time support program.
  • A webinar for first-time entrants of the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards can be viewed via the following link.
  • Full details about the awards programs including categories and how to enter can be found on the following websites:

Murray Regional Tourism's training program is proudly supported by funding from Visit Victoria, Destination NSW and Destination Riverina Murray.

Tourism Awards Mentor - Karen Oliver

Karen Oliver is a Tourism Consultant specialising in industry and product development projects in regional Victoria. She has worked with over 50 businesses on their tourism awards submission over the past seven years and is passionate about supporting tourism businesses to achieve recognition for their quality tourism experiences.

 Program participant testimonial

"We entered the Victorian Tourism Awards for the first time in 2017, and were thrilled to win Gold in our nominated category of Festivals and Events. The response to winning this award was quite overwhelming, but prior to this we found the process of writing our submission enormously beneficial. All too often businesses such as ours are completely focussed on the task at hand, and the award submission process allowed us to pause, take stock and assess our festival from the ground up.

Furthermore, the support and professional guidance we received from Murray Regional Tourism and our fabulous mentor, Karen Oliver, proved absolutely invaluable and I have no doubt greatly contributed to our success - I could not recommend this program more!"

David Fraser, Director Riverboats Music Festival

 Expressions of interest

To express interest in participating in the program or find out more information, please contact Karen Oliver, MRT Tourism Awards Mentor - [email protected] or 0479 010 618.