With more categories than ever before, all NSW tourism operators are encouraged to seize the opportunity for business recognition at the 2019 NSW Tourism Awards.

“Taking part in the 2019 NSW Tourism Awards is an opportunity to discover the full potential of your business and build your reputation within the tourism industry and broader community,” said Hunter Business Chamber Chief Executive Bob Hawes.

Managed by the Tourism Industry division of the NSW Business Chamber in partnership with Destination NSW, the annual NSW Tourism Awards celebrate tourism excellence across the state.

“As Australia’s leading tourism destination, the quality of tourism operators in NSW is exceptionally high,” Mr Hawes said.

“I have no doubt that entrants in this year’s tourism awards will continue to show how tourism operators in NSW are continuing to raise the bar on the quality of the NSW visitor experience.”

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said the Awards always attract a broad range of quality operators and experiences from Australia’s premier tourism State.

“Tourism is big business and is vital to our State’s economy, directly employing 171,200 people, which accounts for 1 in 22 jobs in NSW,” Ms Chipchase said.

“The NSW Tourism Awards provide an opportunity to recognise our industry operators and partners for their innovation and unwavering commitment to offering the very best tourism and events experiences and I encourage them to apply in 2019.”

Now in their 30th year, the awards consist of 28 categories, capturing a range of tourism services including major tourist attractions, festivals and events, tourism restaurants & catering services, business event venues and excellence in food tourism.

With the introduction of a new category – Excellence in Accessible Tourism – NSW tourism operators who welcome people of all abilities will be celebrated. Entrants are asked to demonstrate how they have developed a tourism experience to become more accessible.  

The criteria and categories of the NSW Tourism Awards are set by the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC). NSW winners from categories 1 to 25 automatically progress to the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards where they are judged against the best from each State and Territory.

“Winning Hall of Fame at the NSW Tourism Awards is a great achievement for our community,” says Andrew Smith, CEO, Sand Dune Adventures.

In addition to Hall of Fame recognition for the Qantas Award for Excellence in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism at the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards, Sand Dune Adventures received the silver award for Adventure Tourism.

“We’re a not-for-profit social enterprise, small business in Port Stephens in Worimi country, owned by the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council, and to win this Gold award three years in a row to go into the Hall of Fame just demonstrates that we’re not just doing it well, we’re doing it exceptionally well. And we’re really proud of that.”

Margret Meagher, Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail, Port Macquarie, values the business improvement aspects of the program.

“Entering submissions into the annual NSW and Regional Tourism Awards is not just valuable, it is critical for the development and ongoing success of our business,” says Meagher, the Silver Winner for Cultural Tourism at the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards.

“Importantly, it not only points to areas where the business can improve but also is a fantastic reminder that we are achieving goals in a competitive process. We love the NSW Tourism Awards!”

2019 Regional Tourism Awards

With the support of the NSW Government through Destination NSW, four Regional Tourism Awards programs will be delivered across the state:

·         Destination North Coast NSW

·         Destination Sydney Surrounds North

·         Destination Riverina Murray and Destination Country & Outback NSW

·         Destination Sydney Surrounds South & Destination Southern NSW

Gold winners from the Regional Tourism Awards progress as automatic finalists to the NSW Tourism Awards, with all regional entrants provided the opportunity to promote their regional entry to the NSW Tourism Awards. 


1. Major Tourist Attractions15. Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services
2. Tourist Attractions16. Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Catering Services
3. Major Festivals & Events 17. Caravan & Holiday Parks
4.Festivals & Events 18. Hosted Accommodation
5. Ecotourism 19. Unique Accommodation
6. Cultural Tourism 20. Self Contained Accommodation
7. Qantas Award for Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism 21. Standard Accommodation
 8. Specialised Tourism Services 22. Deluxe Accommodation
 9. Visitor Information Services 23. Luxury Accommodation
 10. Business Event Venues 24. New Tourism Business
 11. Major Tour & Transport Operators 25. Excellence in Food Tourism
 12. Tour & Transport Operators 26. Dean Gorddard Award for Outstanding Contribution By An Individual- NSW 
State Category Only
 13. Adventure Tourism 27. Tourism Education & Training 
State Category Only
 14. Destination Marketing
28. Excellence in Accessible Tourism
State Category Only