The Australian Tourism Awards, and their corresponding state and territory programs, are likely to be overhauled in order to streamline and simplify the awards entry process and to facilitate greater participation for tourism businesses.

Here’s what we know is being considered:

  • ATIC will integrate the Tourism Accreditation and Awards programs: There will be a level one and level two frame-work for those accredited and non accredited businesses. It is unclear as to how businesses who are not yet accredited will enter the awards but for those who are, answers already entered (relating to consistent business policy and strategy) will automatically migrate into the relevant awards questions. It is expected that the entry requirement for accredited businesses will be less after the first year’s submission due to this feature.
  • Streamlining of the awards questions and criteria to avoid duplication: Some questions in the previous awards program seem to attract a duplication of answers and it has been indicated that these questions will be omitted and/or changed.
  • Some awards categories will change: Feedback from participants has drawn particular attention to the accommodation sector categories as too limited, it is expected there will be disruption to these categories in 2020.
  • A social review rating platform that will form part of the judging process: Administered by a South Australian software company, a new social review element will be introduced into the awards judging criteria. It is assumed that entrants will be rated as a bench-marking process for online customer feedback. (Submission Writer clients will have already undergone a similar process in the past with our Social Review Program. Essentially, the software will use an algorithm to collate and rate your reviews across all the many and varied platforms your business is rated by third party sources online).

What does this mean for existing participants?

It is expected that questions relating to activities within the qualifying period will not be changed significantly. Achievements in the past 12 months relating to product development, tourism participation, business planning, innovation, marketing planning HR and corporate citizenship improvements will still require reporting.

If not already accredited, it may be prudent to become an ATIC accredited business in the first year to reduce the load in subsequent years.