Entrant Support

nsw Tourism Awards 2021

Entrants Support 

The Australian Tourism Awards and NSW Tourism Awards have always celebrated the hard work and dedication needed to create quality tourism experiences. Considering the past couple of years we think this holds deeper meaning.

Bonus Support Sessions: ASK THE EXPERTS

Led by members of the judging panel, each Ask The Experts session (Zoom) focuses on a specific part of your submission. An informal Q&A on any aspect of the awards program will follow. This is the opportunity to have all your questions (big or small) answered. 

See recordings of previous Entrant Support Sessions

Marketing + general Q&A

Natalie Bramble & Adam O'Neill
2 - 3pm. Tuesday 3 August


Bonus Support Sessions

Business Development + general Q&A
Natalie Bramble & Karina Groth
2 - 3pm. Tuesday 17 August 

Customer Experience, Intro + general Q&A
Natalie Bramble & Karina Groth
2 - 3pm. Tuesday 31 August 

key dates

  • Thursday, 10 June  Nominations open! 
  • Weds, 16 June Entrant Support Session #1: Watch recording.
  • Friday, 9 July Nominations close 
  • Tuesday, 13 July Entrant Support Session #2: Watch recording.
  • Thursday, 22 July Entrant Support Session #3: Watch recording.
  • Weds, 4 Aug Draft submissions open. 
  • Weds, 25 Aug Draft submissions close.
  • August / September Virtual business verification.
  • Weds, 8 September Submissions final deadline
  • September / October Submission judging
  • Monday, 1 November Finalists announced
  • Thursday, 3 February 2022 (new date) 
    Gala Awards Dinner, Luna Park Sydney

What's new in 2021!

Thoughout the nation and across every industry sector we have faced so many challenges; some unique, some similar, all shared. In 2021 we will continue to applaud hard work and dedication but this year's Awards program will be a special celebration of the resilience, excellence in business innovation and exceptional customer service in the face of so much adversity. 

So, we've made some changes to the rules:

  • Businesses can now share stories about how they overcame difficulties due to the global pandemic, bushfires and flood.
  • We heard your feedback on public-input in the judging process - the 2021 Awards will now incorporate new scoring elements, including consumer reviews, into the overall result. 
See below for details on changes to the NSW Tourism Awards 2021.

changes in effect for 2021


Each submission will be scored on the following elements

  1. Written submission
  2. Online review
  3. Consumer ratings do not apply to some categories, see Rules of Entry for more information

The business verification meeting is NOT scored in NSW. 

Qualifying Period

The qualifying period is extended from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2021. The exception to the rule applies to New Tourism Business. Please see the Rules of Entry for more information.

New businesses that commenced operations between

  • 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020 can choose to enter either New Tourism Business or an alternate category.
  • 1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021 they are only eligible to enter into New Tourism Business.


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 renamed Tourism Retail & Hire Services
  • Destination Marketing has been renamed Tourism Marketing & Campaigns
  • Standard Accommodation has been renamed 3 - 3.5 Star Standard Accommodation
  • Deluxe Accommodation has been renamed 4 – 4.5 Star Deluxe Star Accommodation
  • Luxury Accommodation has been renamed 5 Star Luxury Accommodation

Visit the full list of NSW Tourism Awards Categories


The question set has been updated for the 2021 program so business 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 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 businesses innovation/excellence in social/economic/environmental/ethical tourism can form part of their response to the Business Development question and the Responsible Tourism section will be temporarily suspended for the 2021 program.

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

  • COVID-19 Impacts (0 marks)
  • Introduction (20 marks)
  • Business Development (20 marks)
  • Marketing (20 marks)
  • Customer Experience (10 marks)

*Note: the following categories 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 reduce 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.
  • State categories: 
    • 26. Excellence in Accessible Tourism
    • 27. Local Government Award for Tourism  



Have a question?



The resources provided are intended to help entrants in their submission preparation by providing important information, guides, hints and tips.

Checklist 2021 - before you start

  1. What's new in 2021
    • details important updates and changes
  2. Guide: How to nominate via the awards portal
  3. Rules of Entry
  4. Category Descriptions
    • Download your Award Categories and Submission Questions, keep a copy of this to guide your response. The tips detail what the judges will be looking for. 
  5. Hall of Fame Rules
  6. ReviewPro Guide for Consumer Rating Score and 
  7. ReviewPro how-to training video

Entrant Support Program

Would you like a final, professional set of eyes reviewing your submission before you enter it? 

What is the Entrant Support Program?

It's a complimentary submission review service provided every year by the NSW Tourism Industry Council in partnership with Destination NSW. The free offer is available to all fully paid entrants of the NSW Tourism Awards.  

Entrants participating in the Entrant Support Program will have their final draft submission* reviewed by tourism specialists in our Entrant Support Partners group, and will receive written feedback in a personalised report which will highlight opportunities for improvement. 

Draft submission review deadlineS
Open: 4 August 2021 CLOSE: 25 AUGUST 2021

Our Entrant Support Partners 2021 include: 

  • Tourism industry professionals
  • Past judges on regional, state & national circuits
  • Expert tender and award submission writers
  • Tourism, event management, marketing, communications and business development professionals

Final draft submission review process

  • It's free for all entrants that have paid their NSW Tourism Awards entry fees in full.
  • To maximise the benefits of the program's expert advice; 
    • submissions should demonstrated that all entrant resources have been reviewed and the advice followed. 
    • submissions must be complete to a point that an entrant is satisfied by their best efforts. 
  • Entrants will be required to submit a final draft version of their submission via the online portal, details will be provided upon registering. 
  • The allocated Entrant Support Partner will review an entrant's final draft submission and provide feedback within the online portal. 
  • Feedback will be provided within 7 working days of draft upload. 
  • It is up to the entrant to update their own submission and enter it for judging before the deadline, 8 September 2021.

* It is expected that a 'final draft submission' will be completed to the furthest possible degree prior to requesting a review for potential improvement. Entrant Support Partners will not do the work for you nor can they advise on what is not included in your submission. 


Entrant Support session #3 - Submission Guide

This webinar is designed to guide your submission responses to;

Q3: Marketing.
How to present your strategies for growth and recovery.
Q4. Customer Experience 
How to show your quality visitor experiences and inclusive practices
Download session #3 slides

See below for Entrant Support Sessions #1 and #2

The NSW Tourism Awards is committed to making your experience a rewarding one. 

Entrant Support session #2 - Submission Guide

This webinar is designed to guide your submission responses to;

Q1: Introduction.
How to nail your intro.
Q2: Business Development.
How to present your plans for recovery and growth.
Download session #2 slides

See below for Entrant Support Session #1 - Let's Get Started, with Rose Jacobs.

The NSW Tourism Awards is committed to making your experience a rewarding one. 

Entrant Support Session #1 - let's get started!

16 June, 2021. The first in our Entrant Support Session features a panel of experts who generously share their insights and advice to guide entrants' expectations on their exciting journey in the NSW Tourism Awards 2021.

We are delighted to share this recording for those who couldn't make it (and for those who want a refresher!) Scroll to 1 minunte 40. Enjoy!

The NSW Tourism Awards is committed to making your experience a rewarding one. 


Have a question?