Regional tourism businesses smashing it at the NSW Regional Tourism Awards!

We are always proud of the regional tourism operators who put in the effort and enter the NSW Regional Tourism Awards. It is exciting to follow along on social media and celebrate their successes and the fun of the gala events 😊

Images from Regional Tourism Awards

Winners of the Regional Tourism Awards become finalists in the NSW Tourism Awards, and can go on to the Australian Tourism Awards if they are successful at state level.

(If you are competing at your state level, take a sneak peek at the competition below…)

The benefits

Entering tourism awards requires quite a time commitment from a business but it has many benefits.

  • The submission process supports best practice business planning and also provide an opportunity to gain insight into your business.

  • Your business can achieve recognition for its successes.

  • They communicate to customers that they’ll have a great experience at your place; that you are the best of the best.

Entrants also receive feedback on how to improve their submission, allowing them an opportunity to finesse the submission to make it even more competitive at the state level and/or for entering again next year.

We are proud to work with operators who understand the value of the awards process, and appreciate that it is more than about winning the trophy (although that is a pretty awesome experience!).

It is our focus to ensure our award clients understand how to use the process as an annual benchmarking and business improvement tool.

The winners

The Regional Tourism Awards are open to operators in all six NSW Destination Networks, though some regions were combined for the awards. Check out the recent winners:

Client successes

Two Tilma Group clients who won silver in their categories at the NSW Tourism Awards last year (a significant achievement for small regional operators at a state level) have won gold again this year at the Regional Tourism Awards:

  • Heifer Station Wines won silver in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category in their first ever award submission.

  • Food I Am won silver in the Excellence in Food Tourism category, a step up from their previous bronze award.

Food I Am owners Grant and Tanya Sibrey celebrate with Tilma Group's Linda Tillman

Food I Am owners Grant and Tanya Sibrey celebrate with Tilma Group's Linda Tillman

Advice from an entrant

Regional Tourism Awards quizzed Tania Sibrey of Food I Am to see what she thinks of the awards, her top tips for entrants, why she enters, and where she’s found help along the way.

What reasons did you have for entering?

The process of the application is a great way to benchmark your business against other business’ in the same industry. It ensures you revise documents such as business and marketing plans, targets and WHS compliance each year. This is a way of tracking your progress each year and evaluating your business. It allows you time to reflect on what you have done in the past year and what lies ahead/changes that could be made.

Did you get help from anyone with your submission?

In the past I have attended workshops, utilised the draft submission review and engaged a consultant [Tilma Group] to review our submission. I highly recommend all of these processes. The judges’ feedback from previous years has been vital for working on current submissions.

Do you have any tips or advice for preparing a submission?

Start gathering your information as early as possible, even throughout the year if you are contemplating entering. Allow time to pull your submission together. Ensure you fit the criteria for the category you are entering. Have an independent person/consultant review your category. Submit it earlier than the day it is due to take the pressure off.

How have you promoted your awards success?

We have promoted our awards success through our website, social media platforms, media releases and proudly display our winning trophies in our venue for all to see. The awards are a great recognition of all our team’s hard work.

Read Tania’s full Q&A with Regional Tourism Awards

Support for your submission

If you have received feedback on your submission, but need help to improve it, we can help!

Our Mentoring for Tourism Award Submissions involves you providing us with the first draft of your award submission for a thorough review and analysis.

We will provide written feedback and suggestions on how the submission can be improved based on our years of experience working as mock judges for Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) who run the QLD Tourism Awards and NSW Business Chamber who run the NSW Tourism Awards, and a judge for the Vanuatu Tourism Awards.

You then fine-tune your submission so we can review it a final time prior to submission.

At times we may recommend that we assist in writing some answers. If so, this has an extra cost.

Fee: $1,500 + GST

“Without Linda’s knowledge of tourism and the criteria that we needed to meet, I just don’t think that we would have fallen over the line with our submission.” - Food I Am’s Tania Sibrey

Find out more about our services by calling Linda Tillman at 0439 192 193 or emailing

Free toolkit: How to write a successful tourism award submission

Download our free toolkit with all of our tips

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Kushla GaleComment