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About the Awards

The South Australian Tourism Awards celebrate and acknowledge tourism businesses that have demonstrated outstanding achievements and success throughout the year.

Entry is open to South Australian businesses and organisations across the tourism industry, with over 26 award categories available.

Entrants develop a written submission, undergo a site verification visit, and receive a consumer rating score, all of which is evaluated by a panel of expert judges.

Why enter the Tourism Awards?

  • Be recognised as one of the best tourism businesses in South Australia
  • Raise your reputation as a high-quality, award-winning business
  • Use it as an opportunity to review your business goals and achievements over the past 12 months
  • Strengthen your team spirit and celebrate everything you and your staff have achieved
  • Receive constructive feedback from a panel of expert judges
  • Use your win to your marketing advantage
  • The opportunity to represent South Australia at the national-level Australian Tourism Awards

Watch a recap of the 2023 South Australian Tourism Awards Gala Dinner and hear from entrants on why they value being part of the program.

Winners’ Benefits

Finalists, medallists, and winners in the South Australian Tourism Awards receive a range of benefits, including prizes, marketing opportunities and more.

Winners receive:


State judging is conducted by an independent panel of industry professionals who volunteer their time and are appointed by TiCSA. Judges are selected for their knowledge and experience, and for their willingness to commit time to the awards process.

Site verification visits are conducted by a site judge with the aim of testing the experience and providing a report to validate claims made in the submission.

Each submission is assessed by a team of three judges, who first judge independently, and then discuss findings as a group. The process is also overseen by professional auditors.

Key dates

The key dates for the 2024 program are:

Nominations open: Wednesday 1 May

Nominations close: Monday 17 June

Submissions due: Tuesday 13 August

Finalists announced: Thursday 26 September

Gala Dinner: Friday 1 November

Australian Tourism Awards: March 2025, date TBD


Key Changes in 2023

This year, there are some key changes in the South Australian Tourism Awards that are important to understand if you’re interested in entering.

Site visits

Site visits will not be required for all entrants in the South Australian Tourism Awards. You will only need to undergo a site visit from a Tourism Awards judge if:

  • You ARE a first-time entrant
  • You are NOT Quality Tourism Accredited.
  • You ARE Quality Tourism Accredited, AND you are due for your QTAB site visit in the 2023-24 financial year.

Site visit questions are available in the nominee kit and a webinar will be held to prepare you for your visit. All site visits will be conducted by an expert judge between July – September. Judges will make direct contact to organise a visit.

If you are unsure if you require a site visit, please contact TiCSA for confirmation.

National guidebook

TiCSA has worked with Tourism Industry Councils from other states to create a National Guidebook for the Tourism Awards. This will ensure consistency across Tourism Award programs in all states, and provide more detailed information and support for each category.

The initial guidebook will be released soon which will provide general guidance applicable to all categories.

Guides for specific question sets (listed below) will be available in June.

  • Accessible Tourism
  • Business Event Venues
  • Cultural Tourism
  • Ecotourism
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island Tourism Experience
  • Excellence in Food Tourism
  • Festivals & Events
  • New Tourism Business
  • Retail & Hire Services
  • Tourism Marketing & Campaigns
  • Visitor Information Services
Accessible tourism

In 2023, the Excellence in Accessible Tourism Award is included in the Australian Tourism Awards. Winners at the state level will go on as finalists in the national awards.

There are important changes to entry requirements. To enter, you must meet the standard for at least one of the five category badges in the Accessible Tourism Accreditation program.   

All operators that enter will receive free access to the Accessible Tourism self-assessment that evaluates if you meet the standard. You do not need to be a TiCSA member, or already Accessible Tourism Accredited, to enter.

If you are interested in entering this category, please contact TiCSA. We can provide extensive support to ensure you reach the required standard.

Support sessions

All support sessions, including webinars and workshops, will be held online. All sessions will also be recorded for entrants to access at any time in the lead-up to the submission due date.

Ask the Experts sessions will also be held virtually. Contact TiSA to book one-on-one time with a Tourism Awards expert.

Viewing an award-winning submission

There are no in-person ‘View an Award-Winning Submission’ sessions this year. Instead, TiCSA is creating an example award-winning submission for a entrants to use as a guide.

Tourism Wineries, Breweries & Distilleries

Category 16 will be separated into two divisions:

  • Tourism Wineries
  • Tourism Breweries & Distilleries.

This will occur at the South Australian level only.

A gold medal will be awarded to the winner of each division in the South Australian Tourism Awards. However, only the highest-scoring winner will progress as a finalist in the Australian Tourism Awards. 

Outstanding Contribution and Young Achiever

Category 27 is now named the Outstanding Contribution Award, recognising either an individual or a couple that has made exceptional contributions to the tourism industry. 

Category 28 is now named the Young Achiever Award and is open to people 30 years old or younger that are engaged in the South Australian tourism industry. 

Questions are criteria are now available on the Categories & Criteria webpage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my business qualify to enter?

The awards are open to all tourism businesses in South Australia, across a range of categories. If your business can adequately fit in a category and meet the criteria, you are eligible to enter.

Is it all about big business and big budgets to win the awards?

No – all tourism businesses compete in each category and small businesses can and have successfully won many awards. The focus of the judges is on the submission and the site visit, not the size of the bottom line.

Is there a fee or cost to enter the South Australian Tourism Awards?

Yes. Please see the table below for 2023 costs.


TiCSA Member Non-Member
24 employees or under $190 24 employees or under $380
25 employees or over $240 25 employees or over $480
How does entering the awards benefit my business?

Most past entrants will testify that entering the South Australian Tourism Awards assisted their business greatly through self-evaluating their goals and objectives, as well as being able to benchmark against competitors.

If you are recognised as a winner, you can market yourself as the best in the state. Award winners are provided trophies to display at their business and logos to brand their communications, which demonstrates a high level of excellence and credibility to their customers.

Media and other major bodies such as government agencies look to winners as the leaders of the industry and profile their success with free exposure in communications and online.

Some categories are sponsored by partners of the South Australian Tourism Awards and provide the winners with additional benefits, such as free advertising or cash prizes.

Who nominates my business to enter for the awards?

Each business must nominate themselves and develop a submission that answers the questions in each category.

Am I able to re-enter in consecutive years?

Yes. All past entrants are encouraged to re-enter to achieve a first time win or increase their chances at becoming a Hall of Fame winner, which recognises those who have won a category in three consecutive years. By re-entering and winning at a state level, you increase your chances of being recognised as the best in the country if you win at the Australian Tourism Awards.

How much do I need to write?

Most categories have a word limit of 10,000 words. Please refer to the Rules for Entry and criteria for your relevant category.

Do I submit my submission as soon as I have nominated?

No. When you nominate, you are registering that you intend to put in a submission for the Awards. Your full submission must be uploaded by the submission due date.

Do I need to employ a professional writer to win?

No. Many past winners are entrants that have written their own submission. You know your business inside and out and no one can replicate your passion for it. Utilising the support services available, such as attending the workshops and gaining a mentor will help you prepare a competitive submission. It is permitted to use a professional writer if you have limited time or cannot explain your answers succinctly.

Do I need to supply a hard copy submission in addition to the online submission?

No. You will be required to submit through the online portal. There is no need to submit a hard copy document.

Can I use my submission from the previous year/s?

You can certainly use generic information about your business, however, don’t assume the questions are the same as previous years. Be sure to read all of the questions in case there have been some minor changes made. 

How do I know how many words or pages to use to answer a question?

If the question is worth three points, then a general rule of thumb is to supply an appropriate proportion word count for your answer. If the question is worth six points, then allocate a higher proportion of word count.

How can I nominate somebody to be recognised as an individual, who has contributed to the South Australian Tourism Industry?

There are three ‘individual’ categories that recognise the efforts people have made to the South Australian tourism industry. Unlike the business categories that must be entered by the business itself, individual/s are recognised by a nomination made by anybody on their behalf. The three categories are: ‘Outstanding Contribution by an Individual’, ‘South Australian Tourism Student of the Year’ and ‘South Australian Taxi Driver of the Year’.

(Subject to change in 2023)

Will I know if I've won in advance to the awards ceremony?

The winners and medallists are kept confidential until they are presented at the awards ceremony.