Presented in partnership with the NSW Government and Destination NSW.

NSW Tourism Awards 2023

Celebrating the resilience and innovation of our industry!

Our official partner


  • Be recognised by peers and raise your reputation.
  • Benchmark against your competitors.
  • Review your business goals and achievements over the past 12 months.
  • Use your success as a marketing advantage.
  • Strengthen staff morale and team spirit.
  • Receive feedback from industry experts.
  • Opportunity to represent  NSW at the Australian Tourism Awards.
NSW Tourism Awards logo

I've been asked many times if it's worth entering the NSW Tourism Awards, my answer is a definite YES. While the process isn't easy, the introspective view of your business and its opportunities are priceless. If you're lucky enough to win... that's great!  But if you aren't a winner you will find out why, and that information is GOLD too!

Heifer Station Wines

James Thomas

Heifer Station Wines, Orange

Gold NSW Tourism Awards 2021. Silver Qantas Australian Tourism Awards 2021.

About the awards

Now in its 33rd year, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate business excellence, acknowledge business innovation and reward exceptional customer service. 

Nomination fees are $250 per category entered.  Winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner to be held in Sydney on 8 November 2023

Relevant category winners will go on to represent NSW at the Australian Tourism Awards to be held early 2024 in Darwin, Northern Territory

Key Dates

  • Monday 8 May Nominations open!
  • Friday 30 June (5pm): Nominations close 
  • Entrant Support sessions: Dates to be advised
  • Wednesday 2 August:  Non-accredited entrants to submit Business & Accommodation standards 
  • Wednesday 23 August (5pm): Submissions final deadline
  • Tuesday 29 August: Official judging starts
  • August / September: Business verification meetings (if applicable)
  • Wednesday 27 September: Finalists announced
  • Wednesday 8 November: Gala Awards Black Tie event, Sydney


Have a question?

NSW Tourism Awards 2022 Highlights reel 

NSW Tourism Awards 2021 Highlights reel 

Yes. $250 per nomination. If your business enters multiple categories you will pay $250 for each additional category. 

The Awards are open to all tourism businesses in New South Wales, with a range of categories from which to choose. If a business can adequately meet the category criteria and requirements, it is eligible to enter. 

Businesses entering the Tourism Awards need to demonstrate that they meet 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 (a pre-assessment) within the submission.

This applies to categories 1 - 26, with the exception of Ecotourism and Visitor Information Services which have a different question set specific to these categories. 

It may take an entrant approx. 1-2 hours to complete this section – this is if you have all licenses, insurance details and plans documented and easily accessible. More time would be required otherwise.


Additionally, businesses entering one of the accommodation categories will be required to meet accommodation standards specific to their category. It is not a requirement for a business to be officially Star Rated. Alternatively, an online accommodation standards pre-assessment would be used to demonstrate the entrant’s accommodation rating.

Please note, it may take an entrant 2-3 hours to complete the pre-assessment.

The terminology can be a little confusing!

Nominating is when you formally advise of your intent to enter the NSW Tourism Awards. At this time you nominate your chosen category for entry and provide details of your business, including website, social links, key contacts, plus a 100 word description of the product/event being entered to demonstrate your eligibility and pay your entry fee. This part should take no longer than a few minutes to complete. 

Your submission must be uploaded by the submission due date.

Download guide: How to nominate via the awards portal

Most past entrants will agree that entering the NSW Tourism Awards assists their business greatly through self-evaluating their goals and objectives and benchmarking against key performance indicators and competitors.

If you are recognised as a winner, you can market yourself as the best in the state. 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. 

All finalists and winners will receive a NSW Tourism Awards logo (Finalist, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Hall of Fame) to distribute as they wish for additional exposure and credibility.

There are many benefits of being a Gold winner at the NSW Tourism Awards.

·  Professional photo taken backstage with trophy after being named winner of a category

·  A 30 second video interview taken backstage after being announced winner which is then uploaded directly onto our Facebook page for you to share amongst your networks

·  Exposure on NSW Tourism Awards social media channels during and after the gala ceremony

·  Automatic promotion to being a finalist in the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards (for categories 1 to 25), which will increase exposure on social media and other media releases

· Additional media opportunities as negotiated with awards partners

Each business must nominate themselves and develop a submission that answers the questions in each category.

Yes. All past entrants are encouraged to re-enter to achieve a first time win or increase their chances at 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 of being recognised as the best in the country if you win at the Australian Tourism Awards.

Please contact Zoe Bose via

You are welcome to enter multiple categories, however,  a separate and complete nomination and submission must be submitted electronically for each category. Entrants may only enter one submission in any of the following groups of categories: 

  • Tourist Attractions: Either category 1 or 2; 

  • Festivals & Events: Either category 3 or 4; 

  • Tour and Transport Operators: Either category 11 or 12; 

  • Accommodation: Enter either category 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 or 23. 

    Note: New Tourism businesses MUST only enter category 24: New Tourism Business. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions change from year to year. Be sure to download the category criteria & questions from our website before getting started.

You can certainly use generic information about your business however any results or activity to substantiate your answer must have taken place in the qualifying period. 

Definitely not! Many past winners have written their own submission. You know your business inside and out, that passion cannot be replicated. Take advantage of the support services available, such as following the response guidance tips, attending the webinars and zoom Q & A sessions, and submit your draft submission for review to help you prepare a competitive submission.
You can certainly use a professional writer if you have limited time and resources.

All entrants receive feedback on their submission from the judges. This is accessed within the awards portal shortly after the gala event in November.  If you've entered in previous years this feedback should be reviewed to enhance future entries and can be viewed within your awards portal by going to the past submissions tab. 

All industry members are most welcome to purchase tickets to attend the Gala Awards Event.  

A minimum percentage/score must be achieved for Gold, Silver, or Bronze winner be awarded in a category. 

Should a particular category have a small number of entries (even one)  and they do not meet the standard of finalist, no award will be presented for that category.

A single entrant does not qualify for an automatic win. 

The date for the finalist announcement is listed on the key dates.  There is a media release which announces this, alongside an email directly to all of our entrants and industry stakeholders and sharing on our social media platforms (Facebook and LinkedIn). 

Two categories recognise the contribution of individuals to NSW tourism. The Dean Gorddard Award for Outstanding contribution by an individual and Young Achiever in Tourism Award (under 35). Individual/s are recognised by a nomination made by anybody on their behalf.

Answer the questions and provide accurate and concise information. Make use of the available word count to draw upon examples and use measurable data to support your claims.

Remember that judges often have a lot of submissions to consider, so make it entertaining and informative. Supporting images (up to 25) are also looked upon favourably to strengthen your submission provided they are relevant to your submission.

Judges do not want to spend a lot of time reviewing information that is not relevant to the questions or submission. Don’t be shy in contacting your colleagues and clients for testimonials and case studies. 

You can log in to the awards portal any time to amend or add to your submission until the submission closing date. If you have any problems, please call the team to see if we can assist you.

All information is highly confidential and is only shared with the event team and the judges for that category.  All judges sign a confidentiality agreement and conflict of interest declaration. The information is not published, and any permissions would be sought if required.



We're here to help.
Email the NSW Tourism Awards team any time.

Have questions?