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Make tourism awards simpler! A resort owner’s plea

July 9, 2013 Corporate, Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

The NSW Regional and State Tourism Awards are too time consuming and complex for many tourism operators to enter, argues Ballina Beach Village resort manager Rikki Grinberg.

She has written the following open letter to NSW Tourism Minister George Souris.

Dear Minister Souris,

After reviewing the documentation for the Regional and State Tourism Awards, and assessing everything that is required of the submission document, I don’t believe that I have time to do this for our property The Ballina Beach Village – which is currently one of the largest destinations by nights in the Northern Rivers and the largest mind, body and spirit retreat centre in NSW.

The 30 page submission is so exhaustive that really only a government or educational facility related to tourism, or a venue with a big PR budget would be able to produce an adequate submission in the time given (I note that a resort owner, a previous winner at the Awards tutorial, said that he paid a PR company $20,000 for their submission 10 years ago and won – but hadn’t won since as he hadn’t used a PR company).

The Awards simply need to be a simpler process. A five page submission, with a possible second round of questions for semi–finalists is all that is required. I went to the Awards submission workshop and of the 6 tourism businesses that attended, (all the others were government funded tourism agencies and universities in the tourism education sector), I was the only non-government business left in the room after half an hour – the others fled! In terror!

When you have tiny one to three man tourism businesses, that probably do deserve recognition, but who find the award submission simply a time and cost prohibitive task – then you will not achieve the results that you are looking for – which is to encourage the growth and potential of a tourism business in NSW.

For businesses under 500k and other business under $1.5million and over $1.5million there should be different application criteria and indeed, there needs to be different categories.

In my opinion, as an ex academic but hard working tourism provider, I can say these awards have been designed very, very badly, and need to be reviewed to make them inclusive of the industry that they are trying to promote, not exclusive of the many who would like to enter.

I strongly recommend that you personally review the entry submission – which we were advised had to be 30 pages graphically designed. I would suggest that you appoint an industry–based panel of tourism operators to review the whole process – I would be pleased to serve on this committee if one is ever convened.

Kindest regards, Rikki


Welcome to paradise!

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Gina says:

    Congratulations Rikki, my thoughts exactly…..a submission for the Tourism awards is way out of reach of many small businesses around Australia, who deserve recognition for all their effort. Have you also noticed in some instances the same people keep winning? I have it on good authority that they used a professional writer once and tweak it each year!

  2. Mary Stewart says:

    Well said Rikki and Gina. Those of us who run our own tourism businesses do not have the time given to the employees of big operations to fill in such complex documents. I would ask the state and federal tourist authorities to acknowledge the contribution we make to our regional economies and the pleasure we give to our visiting clients. After all, we are all in this together: governments bodies that run awards and fund large projects, big business that run hotels and conference centres, and small business who run a myriad small enterprises that keep our regions on the map

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