Rules & Regulations 2024

*The content on this page is currently being updated.

The Australian Tourism Awards have always been about celebrating the hard work and dedication made to create quality tourism experiences. 

The 2024 awards program will continue to celebrate excellence, 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 minor adjustments to the awards program and the rules of entry in 2024, these will be further updated as they come to hand. 

Below is a summary of the changes for the 2024 Canberra Region Tourism Awards program. Please note these changes are applied at the national level, across all States and Territories.

Please see further down for the rules and criteria.



  • The qualifying period for this year’s awards is from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.



Please see a full list of categories:

Click here to view the full list of categories.



In 2024, businesses will have sub-questions within the submission. The Responsible Tourism question will be included. 

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



In the 2024 the program’s word count is between 8,00010,000 words.



The 2024 program will continue to 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

Please note:
Site visit scoring is not compulsory as a national standard. Therefore, the site visit score in the Canberra Region is no longer valid.



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.



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.



Nominations are made via the Quality Tourism online system:

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

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






1. 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; NOTE: As one business; entrants can enter both categories as long as their submissions are for different festival/events.
  3. Tour Operator – either category 11 OR 12;
  4. Accommodation – enter category 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 OR 23

2. Entrants that commenced trading/visitation or service delivery for the first time in the qualifying period MUST enter the New Tourism Business category.

  1. Businesses that commenced trading between 1 July 2023 – 30 June 2024 are only eligible to enter the New Tourism Business category. They may also choose to enter the Accessible Tourism category alongside the New Tourism Business category.
  2. Entrants in the New Tourism Business category must have a separate ABN to existing businesses.

3. Entrants cannot change categories after the closing date for submissions in the state/territory tourism awards in which they have entered. With the exception of those who enter into an accommodation category, but only if on completion of the accommodation standards they are found to be ineligible for the category they originally nominated in and need to be moved to an alternative category.

4. Qualifying Period

  1. The qualifying period for the 2024 program is 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024. All activities, achievements and innovations referred to within submissions must have occurred within this period.
  2. Festivals and Events
    1. 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 2023 and FestivalAustralia 2024, each submission would focus on the activities, marketing etc. for the singular event.
    2. Where the festival/events run over the June/July period:
      1. The majority of the Festival/Event must have run within the qualifying period.
      2. Data used e.g., visitation, spend etc. must focus on the dates within the qualifying period.
    3. Planning and preparations which took place prior to the qualifying period may be included in the submission.
  3. Tourism Marketing and Campaigns
    1. The majority of the campaign/marketing activity must have been active within the current qualifying period.
    2. Planning and preparations which took place prior to the qualifying period may be included in the submission.
  4. New Tourism Business
    1. Planning and preparations which took place prior to the qualifying period may be included in the submission.

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.
  4. For Festivals/Events the entirety of the festival/event did not have to occur within the qualifying period, however at least one day of the event must fall 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 in multiple State/Territory awards. However, the submission must focus on the activities undertaken in the state/territory they are nominating for.

7. Memberships

  1. <insert where relevant>

8. Multiple Products

  1. An entrant, such as a chain or franchise with multiple locations and/or multiple products must enter each product individually. Only the individual product/location would be able to promote any outcomes. For example, an accommodation chain such as Meriton, or Accor would not be able to enter as an overarching chain, each property would enter as a separate nomination.
  2. If a ‘group’ of products have different trading names, each individual trading name would be required to enter separately.
  3. In some cases, where the ABN, policies, procedures, marketing and operating systems are the same across multiple locations, the head office may enter but any achievements e.g. winner logo may only be used by the corporate entity, not the individual products.
  4. 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.

9. 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. The specific accommodation category suitable to an operator is determined by the Star Ratings category outlines found here:
  4. 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. 3-3.5 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 Standards
  5. NOTE: Unique Accommodation does not have a Star Rating or Pre-Assessment rating pre-requisite.



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:

All submissions must include the following:

  1. Nomination details
  2. Demonstration of meeting minimum business standards, relevant to their category.
    1. This can be demonstrated via relevant accreditation with the Quality Tourism framework OR
    2. 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 a maximum of 10,000 words (8,000 to 10,000 recommended) 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
    1. The submission can include up to 25 images with captions in categories 1-25 and up to 15 images in category 26.
    2. 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’.***
    3. 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.
    4. Images are attached via a gallery, and can be hyperlinked into the question response.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
    1.Note: The national awards event production prefers high-resolution images (1920×1080 in dimensions)
  8. A late submission will not be accepted.



  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 are reviewed for compliance with the submission guidelines. This must be undertaken initially by the award coordinator, however the withdrawal of a submission would be reviewed and implemented by the Chair of Judges 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.
    1. For example: Tour & transport – the two categories are separated by the number of F/T equivalent employees.
  4. By participating in the Awards program, all entrants agree to display the trademarked logos issued with corresponding accreditation, modules or awards programs, including (but not limited to) Quality Tourism Accreditation trademarks, finalist logos and winners logos.
    1. The licence to display these logos is valid for one year, and the entrant must annually renew their Tourism Industry Council membership or pay the annual ATIC licence fee to continue to display these logos.



  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.



  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. Categories 3 / 4/ 24– Due to the seasonal nature of entrants in these 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


Site Visit Scoring

Scoring is not compulsory as a national standard, scoring an awards site visit is a state’s discretion. If scored the marks are added to the score out of 100 i.e. the total score now available to an entrant would be 120.

The percentage of the total score for the site inspection is outlined below.

  • HR – 2/20 (10%)
  • Business & Marketing Planning – 5/20 (25%)
  • Customer Service – 5/20 (25%)
  • Business Operations – 3/20 (15%)
  • Risk Management – 3/20 (15%)
  • Environmental Management – 2/20 (10%)


  1. In 2024 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.


Consumer Rating

  1. 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
    1. 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
    2. 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
      6. Retail and Hire Services
    3. For those categories where there is a mix of products included, then the consumer rating value would be 5
      1. This would include Food Tourism and Visitor Information Services
  2. A minimum of 25 reviews must have been received across the social platforms which ReviewPro analyses for the qualifying period in order to receive a GRI.
  3. Businesses that do not have a GRI will receive a score of 0 for consumer rating.
  4. To request a ReviewPro account, you can simply do this via the online awards platform
    a. To updated sources used for your ReviewPro account e.g., if you have a new listing on a review site, please email your Program Manager
  5. Alternate review platforms that are not included within the ReviewPro analysis will not be able to be incorporated to determine the customer rating score.


Terms and Conditions

All nominees must agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • By entering the [State Award Name e.g., Victorian] Tourism Awards, I authorise the use and/or reproduction of images and the 100-word description provided in relation to any editorial/advertising purposes initiated in conjunction with the awards and the Australian Tourism Awards.
  • I agree to display any trademark, badge or logo achieved through the Awards process including any accreditation, module, Awards finalist or winners logos. The licence to display these logos is issued for one year and must be renewed annually through either a State Tourism Industry Council or the Australian Tourism Industry Council.
  • I understand that the State/Territory Licencee has ultimate decision making as to which category my product enters. I confirm that I have selected the most suitable category for my business to the best of my knowledge and confirm that the State/Territory Licencee has the right to move my nomination to an appropriate category if I am not eligible for the initially nominated category.
  • My contact details may be supplied to agencies/sponsors engaged on behalf of award/organisers/committees for promotional purposes.
  • I acknowledge that all decisions of the Awards judges and administrators relating to the outcome of the Awards are final and correspondence will not be entered into surrounding these results.
  • Under no circumstances will judges be held responsible for any comment, viewpoint or expression, whether expressed or implied, concerning the standard or quality of an entrant’s submission.
  • By ticking the terms and conditions box, I agree not to bring a claim against any Judge, or state/territory Award owner in relation to feedback on my submission.
  • I declare that the information provided in this submission be true and correct to the best of my knowledge and I agree to the terms and conditions as outlined.





  • See separate Image instructions for troubleshooting



If an entrant is experiencing delays or lost data, it could be for one of the following reasons:

  • Multiple people working on the same submission can override other’s work.
    • Ensure that each user has their own individual log in.
  • Connection speed
    • Connection speed and connection reliability is by far and wide the biggest source of problems in the Awards world. And it has to do with uploading of data. Most internet service providers will give you decent download speeds – so streaming something like Netflix or social media will be fine; but upload speeds tend to be much slower. And this is particularly articulated when you’re uploading images. It is quite common to throttle upload speeds especially when multiple people are using the same Wi-Fi access point; and this is particularly true of accommodation establishments where Wi-Fi is often strained when used by multiple staff and/or guests of the establishment.
    • One of the simplest solutions is to plug in a LAN cable into the laptop. A cable is hugely faster than going over Wi-Fi, especially when that Wi-Fi is already under pressure be multiple people.
  • Images may be too large
    • If images are larger than the recommended size (Images must be no bigger than 10MB each in jpeg format – preferably 500dpi files and 1920 x 1080.) then it won’t get uploaded
    • Resizing images to a modest side before uploading is recommend. Also recommend waiting until an image has finished upload before starting on the next one.
  • Pasting
    • Entrants tend to put their submission into a Word document, and then copy and paste from the Word document into the submission. This is a good thing – but the problem comes in with the amount of stuff they are trying to paste in all at once. Often, they’re copying and pasting a page of text, with multiple images all at the same time – and trying a single paste operation to get it all into the response – and their upload bandwidth can’t cope. It’s advisable to upload one section at a time. Do not try and copy text along with images.
    • Pasted from websites is quite common too – and often this has similar issues as there’s styling and hidden characters in a website that adds to what is being pasted.
    • Pasting is fine, when done in moderation. One section at a time, or a piece of text at a time – not multiple elements because unless you have a very good internet connection – it will create problems. Also, only from word or other text-based program, not from a website.
  • Modern operating systems
    • It is advised not to try filling in an Awards submission from their phone. Laptops are the best medium. The developers are aware of at least one entrant that was still using a Windows 8 machine and Internet Explorer this year – so it’s worth checking that people are on a modern operating system (like Windows 10) with a modern browser e.g. Chrome/Firefox/Edge for best experience.

If none of the above are the issue, send the problem to your Program Manager with the following information:

  • Business name
  • Which submission (if more than one)
  • Devise and browser type used
  • Specific issues e.g. connection keeps timing out, freezing, loosing information that was saved
  • Any images to demonstrate what the issue is or a word of source document that the entrant are working from.