Changes to tourism award submissions for 2019!

Quality Tourism Framework replaces other accreditation

A new framework for Australia’s business quality program has been developed to provide greater efficiencies for those who are in multiple programs and to provide an assurance of minimum standards being met by all.

This new integrated framework, called the Quality Tourism Framework (QTF), was developed by the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC). It will incorporate existing programs such as the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program, Star Ratings, and the Australian Tourism Awards.

Under the new QTF, there will be changes to requirements for 2019 state tourism awards which all entrants must meet in order to be eligible for the national award categories.

For example, Queensland entrants were previously required to hold accreditation through one of 17 recognised programs. In order to ensure consistency across all the states under the QTF, this requirement no longer applies.

Accommodation Categories

To be eligible for an accommodation category (17 – 23), entrants must meet a Star Rating that relates to their category by completing a pre-assessment module in the online submission portal which will calculate a proposed rating.

Properties which already have a Star Rating will not need to complete this pre-assessment. (Note: Star Rating renewals are due July 2019.)

Star Ratings required for tourism award categories:

  • Luxury - 5

  • Deluxe - 4 or 4.5

  • Standard - 3.5

  • Unique - 3.5+

  • Hosted - 3.5+

  • Caravan Park - 3.5+

  • Self-contained - 3.5+

Non-Accommodation Categories

Entrants in non-accommodation categories will have to complete Level 1 of the QTF in the online submission portal.

Those already accredited through QTF (formally known as ATAP) will not be required to complete a pre- assessment. (Note: annual QTF (formally ATAP) renewals are due July 2019.)

Regardless, it is recommended that tourism businesses maintain current accreditations as valuable business assets.


There is no additional cost for 2019 entrants to complete the required pre-assessments.

New category descriptors

Ensure you look at the descriptor of your category to both make you are entering the right category, and to make sure you answer Question 1 correctly; it asks you to demonstrate your eligibility for the category as related to the descriptor.

These categories have new descriptors in 2019

  • Major Festivals and Events

  • Festivals and Events

  • Ecotourism

  • Specialised Tourism Services

  • Caravan & Holiday Parks

  • Hosted Accommodation

  • Unique Accommodation

  • Self-contain Accommodation

  • Standard Accommodation

  • Deluxe Accommodation

  • Luxury Accommodation

Marketing and Sustainability sections updated

The Marketing and Sustainability sections for most categories have been updated in 2019.

The Marketing section now has 5 questions weighted 25 points, and the Sustainability section has 3 questions weighted 15 points.

New marketing questions

Old version:

3.D) Describe the innovative marketing strategies you have implemented to encourage new and/or repeat business and demonstrate the success of these initiatives. (6)

New version:

3.D) Describe the innovative marketing strategies you have implemented to encourage new and/or repeat business. (5)

3.E) Demonstrate the success of the initiatives outlined in (d). (5)

New sustainability questions

Old version:

5.A) How do you save and monitor water, energy and reduce waste? (7)

5.B) How do you involve the local community in your business? (7)

5.C) How do you support your local economy? (6)

New version:

5.A) Demonstrate how your business contributes to the local economy. (5)

5.B) Demonstrate how your business engage with and benefits the local community. (5)

5.C) Describe how your business cares for the local environment. (5)

Tips for answering well have also been provided for each new question.

NSW Regional Tourism Awards now include all regional Destination Networks

After success in three regions in 2018, the Regional Tourism Awards in NSW will expand to include all six Destination Networks: Country & Outback, North Coast, Riverina Murray, Southern NSW, Sydney Surrounds North and Sydney Surrounds South.

Hall of Fame for QLD’s People’s Choice Awards

Entrants who win the RACQ People’s Choice awards in the Queensland Tourism Awards two years in a row will not be a part of the voting the following two years.

Download our free Tips for Successful Award Submissions handbook

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Your State Tourism Awards

Find out more about nominating in your state tourism awards:

Kushla GaleComment