Thursday, October 19, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Writing a submission for the Whitsunday Tourism Awards is renowned for being a huge undertaking and, at a whopping 10,000 words per submission, it is no wonder that many operators feel a little daunted at the prospect.
While the process does take time, however, there are some serious benefits to writing a submission.
Not only do you have the opportunity to promote your business on a regional, state and possibly even national stage, but by writing a submission you also find out a lot about your business.
Local owner operator, Julie Telford from Red Cat Adventures credits her award submissions for opening up a new understanding of her business, learning more every time she writes a submission.
An award veteran, Julie has brought home several national awards and over the years has developed strategies that maximise results.
Meanwhile, local tourism operator Elizabeth Hackett from Magnums Accommodation, has been both an award winner and a state judge.
Elizabeth offers wisdom from both sides.
“The awards were an absolute game changer for my business,” she said.
“At first my expectations were very limited – but I realised the submission questionnaire I’d been given was actually assisting me with a marketing plan, a business plan and the eco side of my business.
“To have this template in front of me, my expectations grew year on year and where I started was quite different from where I finished.”
For The Perfect Submission
1. Use the guide – The people who follow the guide to the letter have the best submissions because they always reference back to it.
2. Show your passion – We can usually tell when the submission’s been written by someone involved in the business directly.
3. It’s all about storytelling – Make it readable and engaging, try to give real examples and case studies to illustrate how you are implementing everything.
4. Pre-plan if you can - Keep a special file where you put anything relevant, the best submissions are planned throughout the year and built-up gradually.
5. Include images and graphics – Take the opportunity to attach extra information, images, and graphics, to maximise the overall impression of the submission.
6. Take it in bite-size pieces - The guide is 91 pages but don’t feel overwhelmed, simply take it in sections and answer each part as you go.
7. Be prepared and start early – Do not leave it until the last minute, start early to give yourself plenty of time to make it perfect.
8. Don’t worry about sharing – Some people worry judges may steal ideas but all information shared with the judges is confidential.
9. Use all support offered – The team at Tourism Whitsundays and QTIC (Queensland Tourism Industry Council) are there to help you along the way.
10. Have fun and show passion – A genuine, heart-felt submission will always come across better than something that is clinical or reserved.
Contributed with thanks to judges Mark Henry and Elizabeth Hackett.