We got ourselves along to a preparation workshop for the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards and here are some of the things we learnt about the 2018 program that you need to know.
What are the key changes for 2018?
For those of you that have been around the Awards scene for some time already, here are three changes that you should know about:
- One key change is that entry deadline has come forward three weeks to Monday, August 13 (Yikes).
- Another change is that the online entry submission platform has had a much-needed update. (Hallelujah!).
- Elsewhere, the criteria for New Tourism Businesses has been tweaked and the category descriptors for Self Contained Accommodation and Specialised Tourism Services has been tweaked. (Meh, important for some)
Chatterbox's Hot Tips
'This could go National'
Think 'This could go National' when writing your submission, because the Victorian Award winners are progressed on to the Australian Tourism Awards program. Take away any assumptions that judges are familiar with your
product or experience. They aren't likely to be familiar with say, Talbot, for instance.
First Timers CAN win
At last year's Australian Tourism Awards, Victorian tourism operators won three gold, three silver and three bronze Awards. The fun fact here is that six of these nine operators were first timers in the Awards, proving
that whilst experience is valuable, it's not a pre-requisite for success.
Volunteers: still the unsung heroes?
Volunteers are so valuable to the industry, but the Volunteer category is rarely overflowing with contenders. Why not shine a light on your volunteers and put in an application to recognise their service.
Measure everything you can
Yep. Everything. Make sure you are measuring everything grom sales figures, reviews, satisfaction ratings, where your customers come from and how they heard about you; how
many volunteers you have; right through to how much rubbish you are producing (and recycling). Measure it. Report it. Learn from it.
What's your mantra?
You might not have it etched above your door or stuck on your counter, but think about what you and your team say as their 'mantra'. One company vowed to 'Make everyone happier than when they arrived.' Simple, but
it helps to set the framework for your customer service questions.
Complaints are ok. (Yes really)
Complaints are ok. It's human nature. We complain all the time, so don't shy away from them and be prepared to detail one or two examples and how they were dealt with.
More than a 'one-off' Submission
Tourism operators have shared that they have used the contents of their tourism award submissions for grant applications, local government reports, Annual Reports, other Awards programs, attracting sponsors and investors and even selling their business. This can be so much more than a one-off submission and entering over a number of years can be a lot easier, too.