Rules & Regulations 2021

The Australian Tourism Awards have always been about celebrating the hard work and dedication made to create quality tourism experiences. This year we also want to celebrate resilience.

2020 saw many challenges faced by businesses, with some similar and some different across the states and territories and industry sectors. This year’s awards program will continue to celebrate excellence, to reward business innovation and exceptional customer service, as well as championing the resilience of our industry.

The Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) have made some adjustments to the awards program and the rules of entry in 2021 to enable businesses to share their stories on how they overcame the difficulties experienced as a result of the bushfires and COVID-19.

Below is a summary of the changes for the 2021 Canberra Region Tourism Awards program. Please note these changes are applied in the national level, and across all States and Territories.

Please see further down for the rules and criteria.

 

QUALIFYING PERIOD

  • The qualifying period for this year’s awards will be adjusted to account for the variances in closed businesses across the states over the past 12 months. Therefore, the qualifying period is extended from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2021.
  • An exception to the rule applies to the New Tourism Business category. See the rules and criteria for more details.

 

CATEGORIES

As a part of the review for 2021, the participation in various categories were examined and the following changes were determined to more adequately reflect the entrants to the category:

  • ‘Specialised Tourism Services’ has been replaced by ‘Tourism Retail & Hire Services’
  • ‘Destination Marketing’ has been renamed ‘Tourism Marketing & Campaigns’
  • ‘Standard Accommodation’ has been renamed ‘3-3.5 Star Accommodation’
  • ‘Deluxe Accommodation’ has been renamed ‘4-4.5 Star Deluxe Accommodation’
  • ‘Luxury Accommodation’ has been renamed ‘5 Star Luxury Accommodation’

Click here to view the full list of categories.

 

QUESTIONS

In 2021, businesses can choose what they want to focus on – strategies implemented to attract or grow and/or strategies implemented as a part of their recovery and resilience to COVID-19. Therefore, the existing questions have been amended to enable a response from the business which is relevant to them.

Whilst Responsible Tourism/Sustainability is an incredibly important part of any business, the challenges faced by many during the qualifying period make it difficult to respond to this question, though at no fault of their own. So, rather than disadvantage businesses, the Responsible Tourism section has been temporarily suspended in 2021 – except for 03. Major Festivals & Events and 04. Festivals & Events.2021.

The business innovation and excellence in social, economic, environmental and ethical tourism can form part of your response to the ‘Business Development’ question.

Most categories* will have a revised question set which focuses on five key areas:

  • COVID-19 & bushfire impact to the business (0 marks)
  • Introduction to the business
  • Business development
  • Marketing
  • Customer experience

 

*The following categories will have an updated set of questions that are specific to the individual category:

  • Major Festivals & Events
  • Festivals & Events
  • Ecotourism
  • Cultural Tourism
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island Tourism
  • Tourism Marketing & Campaigns
  • New Tourism Business

 

WORD COUNT

Having temporarily suspended the Responsible Tourism question, the 2021 program will also temporarily drop the word count to 8000 words.

Please note this also applies to:

  • Major Festivals & Events and Festivals & Events – the Responsible Tourism question still applies to these two categories, but the word count is reduced to 8000 words.

 

SCORING

As a response to industry’s feedback over the past few years, the 2021 program will incorporate a more encompassing scoring system where various elements, including consumer reviews, will contribute to the overall result. Entries will be scored on the following elements:

  • Written submission
  • Online review
  • Consumer rating
  • Site visit

Please note:
Site visit scoring is not compulsory as a national standard. Therefore, the site visit score in the Canberra Region will be dropped.

 

ONLINE REVIEW

The entrant’s online activities will be assessed by the panel of judges and will include:

  • The business website
  • The business social media channels
  • The business search engine optimisation
  • The business external listing sources

The online review scoring will occur at the State/Territory level only and will account for 10% of the entrant’s overall score. A copy of the Online Review questions are in the Entrants Handbook.

 

CONSUMER RATING

The consumer rating score will account for 20% of an entrant’s overall score, with some exceptions*. The consumer rating will capture the entire qualifying period and will be derived from the GRI (average score of all online reviews) provided by ReviewPro.

Award entrants will now have access to a complimentary ReviewPro account, via the Quality Tourism Framework dashboard for the duration of the program.

*Due to the nature of the below categories, consumer rating will not apply to:

  • Major Festivals & Events
  • Festivals & Events
  • Ecotourism
  • Cultural Tourism
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island Tourism
  • Business Event Venues
  • Tourism Marketing & Campaigns
  • New Tourism Business

*For those categories where there is a mix of products included, then the consumer rating value will be 5%.

This includes:

  • Tourism Retail & Hire Services
  • Excellence in Food Tourism

Please note:
a minimum of 25 reviews must have been received over the qualifying period across the 175+ online review sites that ReviewPro captures from in order to receive a GRI score. Businesses that do not have a GRI will receive a score of 0 for the consumer rating score.

2021 RULES AND REGULATIONS

NOMINATIONS

Nominations are made via the QTF online system. This can be accessed at:

https://online.qualitytourismaustralia.com/

A submission for an award category cannot be made unless a nomination has been made. All entrants must adhere to the nomination rules and guidelines set out throughout this document.  

The nomination collects specific contact information, category selection and agreement to the Awards terms and conditions.

 

ENTRY FEES

$99       Businesses with up to and including 10 employees (full time equivalent)
$275     Businesses with 11 or more employees (full time equivalent)

 

NOMINATION RULES

1. Multiple categories
If entering more than one category, then a separate and complete entry must be submitted for each category. However, entrants may only enter one submission in any one of the following categories:

  1. Attractions – either category 1 OR 2;
  2. Festivals and Events – either category 3 OR 4;
  3. Tour Operator – either category 11 OR 12;
  4. Accommodation – enter category 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 OR 23

2. New businesses
Entrants that commenced operation for the first time in the qualifying period MUST enter the New Tourism Business category.

  1. Due to the extended qualifying period for 2021, for new businesses that commenced operations between 1 July 2019- 30 June 2020 they can choose to enter into either New Tourism Business OR an alternate category. For those that commenced operations between 1 July 2020- 30 June 2021 they are only eligible to enter the New Tourism Business.

3. Changing categories
Entrants cannot change categories after the closing date for submission in the state/territory tourism awards in which they have entered.

4. Qualifying Period

  1. The qualifying period for the 2021 program is 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2021. All activities, achievements and innovations referred to within submissions must have occurred within this period.
  2. For Festivals and Events, where multiple events have been held within the qualifying period each event can make a submission, each submission must be specific to one event. E.g. FestivalAustralia 2019 and FestivalAustralia 2020, each submission would focus on the activities, marketing etc. for the singular event.

5. Trading Period

  1. All entrants must have traded for the entire qualifying period except those entering the New Tourism Business category, or where trade ceased due to Government restrictions.
  2. Specifically, entrants in the category New Tourism Business must have commenced trading/visitation or service delivery within the qualifying period. No minimum period of trading has been defined for New Tourism Business.
  3. Exceptions apply to seasonal businesses and facilities, festivals, events, marketing campaigns, media entries, training and tourism development projects, however the activity being put forward for consideration must have occurred within the qualifying period.

6. Nominated state/territory

  1. Entrants must be based or have specific operations in [the state or territory of their nomination e.g. Victoria].
  2. Where a regional awards program is available, entrants must be based in or operate in the region of their nomination.
  3. Should a company have branches in more than one state/territory they may enter the State/Territory awards for the relevant branch for so long as the submission focuses on the activities undertaken in that state/territory.

7. Multiple Products

  1. An entrant, such as a chain or franchise that has multiple products must enter each product individually if they want each property to be able to promote the achievement of winning a tourism award. Alternatively, the corporate head office may enter but the winner logo (provided by ATIC) may only be used by the corporate entity, not the individual products.
  2. Aside from those categories where stated, one business can submit two entries, including two entries into the same category. However, they will be competing against themselves they may see value in, for example, securing a win and second placing.

8. Accommodation Categories

  1. Accommodation categories will be required to meet accommodation standards specific to their category.
  2. It is not a requirement for a business to be officially Star Rated. Alternatively, the online accommodation standards would be used to demonstrate the entrant’s pre-assessment rating.
  3. Accommodation standards required
  1. 5 Star Luxury Accommodation
    1. Official 5 Star Rated
    OR
    2. A pre-assessment rating of 5 Stars within the Accommodation Standards
  2. 4-4.5 Star Deluxe Accommodation
    1. Official 4 or 4.5 Star Rated
    OR
    2. A pre-assessment rating of 4 or 4.5 Stars within the Accommodation Standards
  3. 3.5-4 Star Accommodation
    1. Official 3 or 3.5 Star Rated
    OR
    2. A pre-assessment rating of 3 or 3.5 Stars within the Accommodation Standards
  4. Hosted
    1. Official 3 + Star Rated
    OR
    2. A pre-assessment rating of 3 + Stars within the Accommodation Standards
  5. Caravan Park
    1. Official 3 + Star Rated
    OR
    2. A pre-assessment rating of 3 + Stars within the Accommodation Standards
  6. Self-Contained
    1. Official 3 + Star Rated
    OR
    2. A pre-assessment rating of 3 + Stars within the Accommodation Standard
  1. NOTE: unique accommodation does not have a Star Rating or Pre-Assessment rating pre-requisite.

 

SUBMISSIONS

An entrant must nominate for an award before they can commence preparing their submission.

Submissions are made via the same system the nominations are made; this can be accessed at: https://online.qualitytourismaustralia.com/

All submissions must include the following:

1. Nomination details

2. Demonstration of meeting minimum business standards, relevant to their category.

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

3. Category questions including supporting images.

4. Word Count

  1. The submission will be maximum 8,000 words in length for all national categories
  2. Words within a table are included in the submission word count
  3. It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure their submission does not exceed the maximum word count.

5. Images

The submission can include up to 25 images with caption.

  • Images can include infographics, charts, graphs and pictures
  • Any image used must be for the sole purpose of supporting the submission by providing evidence. Images cannot be used to form part of the written response to a question. A good rule of thumb is ‘if you remove the images, will the written word still provide a robust answer’.
  • Captions are to be a maximum of 6 words, not included in the overall word count.

Any words within a caption above 6 words will be included in the overall word count.

6. Media & Promotional

  • A description of no more than 100 words of your company/product, which will be used by media, for announcements at the presentation ceremony, in promotional material and on website listings. As this will be edited and compiled by people who have not viewed your submission, please remember to include your company/product name and where you are located geographically.
  • An additional ten images (jpeg format only) which illustrates the entrant’s operation should accompany each submission in each category entered. These images will be used for exposure at the presentation ceremony and in official advertising and publications. (Note: 500 dpi files in a JPEG format are required).

Note: The national awards event production prefers high-resolution images (1920×1080 in dimensions)

7. A late submission will not be accepted.

 

COMPLIANCE WITH COMPETITION RULES

1. The Licensee, with Chair of Judges reserve the right to withdraw submissions if an entry is not compliant with the rules.

2. All submissions must be reviewed for compliance with the submission guidelines. This must be undertaken initially by the award coordinator, however the withdrawal of a submission should be reviewed and implemented by the Chair of Judging and the Auditor.

3. All entrants must clearly demonstrate how they meet the eligibility requirements of each respective category that they choose to enter in Q1. If this is not adequately demonstrated then that entrant may be disqualified.
a. For example:
• Tour & transport – the two categories are separated by the number of F/T equivalent employees

 

INSOLVENCY OF AN ENTRANT

1. At any time, following submission of an entry in the Australian Tourism Awards, but prior to the presentation ceremony, should the business become insolvent or place the business under administration, the entrant is no longer eligible to receive an award.

  1. If prior to the presentation event, then the next national finalist shall be elevated to the status of winner.
  2. If, following the presentation ceremony, the business returns to solvency, then the award cannot be reclaimed.
  3. The next state finalist will not be elevated to the status of national finalist.

 

SITE VISIT

1. The purpose of the site visit is for verification of the business, not the awards submission. Companies are under no obligation to offer a judge a free experience of their product. The site visit will be prearranged at a mutually convenient time and the judges have a proforma from which they work.

2. All businesses will meet the site visit requirements, the exceptions to this are:

  1. All categories the site visit is for verification purposes only and therefore no points will be awarded.
  2. Category 14 /25– No mandatory visitation however may occur at the discretion of the state/territory

3. The specifics of the site visit are provided to entrants at the time of booking or appointment.

4. Site visits are not undertaken for national judging.

  

New business (not yet accredited)

1. If a business is not yet accredited or does not meet the relevant accreditation requirements for their category, they will be required to undertake an awards site visit. By undertaking an awards site visit they will meet the QTF level one site visit certification requirement.

2. If a business wishes to obtain a higher level of certification, additional questions would be required to be assessed relevant to the level module of certification, separate to the awards site visit process (this could occur concurrently at the states discretion).

 

Existing Certified Business (not meeting certification requirements)

1. Level one

  1. If a business is certified at level one, but is not meeting the QTF Site Visit Certification Requirements they will be required to undertake an Awards Site Visit.
  2. The awards site visit would meet the requirements of a QTF level one certified site assessment.

 

Higher/Other Modules

1. If a business is certified at a level higher then QTF Level One, but is not meeting the QTF Site Visit Certification Requirements they will be required to undertake an Awards Site Visit.
2. The awards site visit will not meet the higher QTF Site Visit Certification requirements. An independent site assessment will be required to be undertaken (this could occur concurrently at the states discretion).

 

Site Visit criteria

Site visit judges will ask to see the following:
• HR
• Business & Marketing Planning
• Customer Service
• Business Operations
• Risk Management
• Environmental Management

 

ONLINE REVIEW

1. In 2021 an online review will be undertaken to assess the entrant’s online activities including;

  1. The entrant’s website
  2. The entrant’s social media channels
  3. The entrants search engine optimisation
  4. The entrants external listing sources

2. The online review will account for 10% of the total score.
3. Scoring of the online review will occur at the State/Territory level only, similar to the site review.

 

Consumer Rating

1. In 2021 a consumer rating score will be introduced. The consumer rating will be derived from the GRI provided by ReviewPro and will account for 20% of the total score available, with some exceptions

a. Where they have their own specific question set and the consumer ratings do not match what is being assessed no consumer review score is incorporated

  1. This would include Ecotourism, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Tourism, Cultural Tourism categories

b. A consumer rating will not be applied to the following categories

  1. New Tourism Business
  2. Major Festivals and Events
  3. Festivals and Events
  4. Business Event Venues
  5. Tourism Marketing & Campaigns

c. For those categories where there is a mix of products included, then the consumer rating value would be 5

  1. This would include Retail and Hire Services and Food Tourism

2. A minimum of 25 reviews must have been received across the social platforms which ReviewPro analyses during the qualifying period in order to receive a GRI.

3. Businesses that do have a GRI will receive a score of 0 for consumer rating.

 

If you have any queries in regard to the rules and regulations, please contact:
Debra Beetham
Awards Manager
E: debra@nationalattractions.com.au
P: 6162 4460