Generally, the past season’s applications were of impressive quality and we receive a great response from participants.
Some of the generic feedback for the past season’s applications are:
Individual nominations may need to consider one’s contribution/involvement in industry-level initiatives/events/programmes that harness their skills and experiences to be industry leaders and put Destination Fiji on the global market.
The Destination Marketing Category criteria has been reviewed to relate well to tourism marketing. In the past, it has been exciting to note the marketing activities carried out by applicants. Yet some applications lacked to provide information on how various marketing activities are linked to strategies and furthermore describe with evidence how these were effective to achieve the Objective/s of the marketing program.
The culinary sector is now retitled “Excellence in Food Tourism” and is an important component of any tourism business. Whilst the ambiance and food may be perfectly presented, a critical factor that applicants dropped in was to empower their serving staff to be well read with the products on offer. It was the competitive edge for excellence.
Applicants for the tourism sustainability category provided great submissions in the past. For the 2022 season, we have retitled the category “Environmental Sustainability”. In past seasons, there were applicants that seemed to focus more on the conservation of natural resources yet lacked to show how it impacts the bottom line to be able to sustain future demands from various stakeholders of the business. A good example would be on explaining how the business approaches its challenges with supply-chain and innovative solutions explored/implemented to resolve issues.
After a review of the Application Form and process, the following are some changes to note in the 2022 season:
The Applications will now be referred to as Entries.
- There is a Registration of interest period before the Entries period will be opened
- Entries are encouraged to be submitted online when application submissions open on 5th October 2022
We have extended the categories to 20 with some of the categories retitled as below:
- Category 1 – Dixon Seeto Tourism Leader
- Category 2 – Rising Star
- Category 5 – Environmental Sustainability
- Category 11 – Tourism Industry Support
- Category 12 – Inbound & Transport Operators
- Category 13 – Excellence in Food Tourism
- Category 14 – Specialised Tour Services
We have added new categories as below:
- Category 3 – Cultural Tourism Champion
- Category 4 – Community CSR
- Category 6 – Employee Excellence in Service
- Category 16 – Wedding Operator of the year
- Category 17 – Spa Operator of the year
- Category 18 – Dive Operator of the year
- Category 19 – C&I Operator of the year
- Category 20 – Training & Development
Not encouraged! Judges want to see the passion for excellence that comes from the Applicant as it provides evidence within rather than marketing-document with ‘fluff’.
Again, please get in touch with us if you need assistance
Our judges are experienced in comparing businesses of very different types and sizes, usually asking themselves the question: “Can this business be any better at what it is?” as well as “How well does this business deliver to its target audience?” In the past, this has led to satisfactory comparisons of boutique hotels with large complexes, as well as tour companies with transport businesses. Customer expectations differ for different business types and sizes, and so do those of our judges.
See the answer above – the same answer applies!
We have extended the categories this year with the intention of making them more inclusive. Tourism is a huge and diverse industry and we try to offer an opportunity for every business to enter, but we need to balance this out with categories that have enough entries to make them viable and the need for an awards night that finishes at a decent time!
If you are not sure of the category to match your business, please get in touch with us and we’ll give you guidance on what to do.
Entries are judged on the merit of their submission. It is testimony to the strength of applications received and the ability to respond accurately to the Category criteria and guidelines. Furthermore, a key aspect to winning is ensuring that as a Finalist you are closing the gap between the written document and the customer experience/s of the products/services of the business. In the past, some applicants have really let their entries down by the lack of substantive information upon which to make any reasonable assessments. Some applications are full of ‘motherhood statements’ and are more like promotional brochures than providing assessable information.
More is not better, rather focus on the information required in the questions and guidelines that allow judges to assess the key aspects of their suitability for the award.
Continuous professional development applies just as much to business owners and/or managers as well as to their employees, so take the opportunity to relate how you keep abreast with business and industry knowledge and skills.
Yes, for this year 2022, we encourage you to submit your entries by uploading it online when application submission opens on 5th October 2022. Deadline for online submission is Friday 4th November 2022.