Tourism Award Categories

2021 NOMINATIONS ARE CLOSED - THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!

Stay Tuned For Your Invitation To The 2021 Virtual Awards Ceremony...

2022 Tourism Excellence Awards Nominations Will Open October 1, 2021


Before you start, you may want to download pdfs of the NOMINATIONS FORM and AWARDS CATEGORY LIST for easy reference.

Multiple Categories: A program/project may be submitted for more than one award category. However, a separate submission is required for each category.

For Your Convenience: Nominators will need to login to their Member Account or create a Guest Account in order to begin the Nominee Submission Form. This login enables the Nominator to return to their nomination as needed to add, edit or correct information.

Scroll Through The Page Below
For Detailed Awards Category Descriptions
And Nomination Links



Excellence in Overall Tourism Marketing

Nominations for organizations and entities in this category should include all aspects of their tourism marketing programs and initiatives, regardless if there is a unifying project theme. Nominated project information shall include details of a nominee's planning and implementation of marketing strategies that are creative and innovative, and resulted in increased attendance, public and private partnerships, media exposure, website activity and/or consumer response. Eligible entities include organizations/entities of all kinds - attractions, shops, events, hotels, restaurants, associations, government agencies. destinations or regions.

Requirements: Documentation of an organization's current marketing plan, implementation examples and quantitative or qualitative results. Implementation examples may include social media, website, print advertising, familiarization tours, packaged itineraries, tourism impact surveys, and television and radio spots.

Excellence in Overall Tourism Marketing Categories:

  • Private Sector Entity
  • DMOs, TPAs (county level) and other Tourism Marketing Organizations at the local level
  • Regional or State Level Effort (Regional TPAs, Tourism Marketing Organizations/Associations, State Agencies, etc)




Excellence in Tourism Marketing Campaigns, Projects & Programs

Nominated projects for each award are specific components of an entity's overall marketing initiatives. Nominated project information shall include details of a nominee's planning and implementation of marketing strategies that are creative, innovative, and resulted in increased attendance, public and private partnerships, media exposure, website activity and/or consumer response. Eligible entities include attractions, events, hotels, restaurants, shops, organizations, destinations or regions.

Requirements: Documentation of an organization's current marketing plan, implementation examples and quantitative or qualitative results should be included.

Excellence in Tourism Marketing Campaigns, Projects & Programs Categories:

  • Public Relations Campaign: Public relations campaigns can be for general, niche travel audiences, represent special events, crisis/disaster management, or general/overall tourism promotion, but must focus on a single theme.
  • Printed Collateral Materials: Materials considered for this award can include visitor guides, advertising pieces, brochures, postcards, etc. Additional metrics in the documentation should include print quantity, distribution and audience. Entries must include one (1) electronic version of the printed piece/s.
  • Digital Marketing Campaign: Nominated projects for this award should demonstrate creativity, originality, innovation and results-driven planning and implementation for digital outreach including (but not limited to) websites, digital advertising, email marketing, social media usage, etc.
  • Niche Marketing Campaign: Nominations may include programs or projects aimed at exposing unique or “niche" tourism offerings in New York State, including thematic tourism programs such as agri-tourism, cultural heritage, arts culinary/beverage tourism, outdoor recreation, etc. OR target marketing to a specific visitor audience.
  • Best Use of Digital Tools and Outreach To Keep Tourism Top of Mind: Nominations for this category should reflect efforts to sustain awareness and share-of-mind during the pandemic, when restrictions and regulations discouraged would-be travelers and many travel consumers were homebound.
  • Best COVID Response Marketing Effort to Pivot to Success: Necessity is the mother of invention. Did you navigate to success despite adversity? Many businesses and destinations reacted nimbly to the COVID crisis and were able to identify and exploit new or alternate niches, programs and resources to navigate to success. Share your inspiration, strategy and outcomes in your nomination.


Excellence in Tourism Stewardship: Economic Development & Destination Improvement

Nominees are those individuals, communities, or organizations that have fostered economic development and/or enhance a destination. Examples include revitalizing a downtown, adaptive reuse of a historic structure (e.g. to be used as visitor center, museum, restaurant or lodging facility), and/or, encouraged development of a tourism attraction or trail. Also, may include legislative advocacy, environmental protection or social causes, training programs (not related to visitor service), special events.

Category Requirements:

  • Program budget information required
  • Project prospectus and/or photos
  • Demonstrate project's vision, strategy and plan of execution.
  • Identify key stakeholders, partners and their involvement in the project
  • Provide qualitative or quantitative results.
  • The attraction or destination should be at least partially operational and accessible to the public anytime between June 1, 2019 and December 31, 2021.



Excellence in Visitor Service

This award goes to a destination marketing organization, community, association, agency or attraction that has worked strategically to welcome visitors more effectively, including COVID adjustments to address safety and health issues. Projects/Programs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Innovations and adjustments to operate responsibly and address pandemic visitor health and safety
  • Providing front-line staff or docent training
  • Tourism readiness workshops or symposiums
  • Informative and visitor friendly websites, and/or
  • Interactive visitor centers focused on “going the extra mile" to serve the public.

Requirements:
Submissions may include brochures, pictures, copy of tourism strategies, docent training guides, customer evaluations and letters, links to websites and/or publicity clips, and when appropriate, a list of the partnering organizations.

Excellence in Visitor Service Categories:

  • Private Sector
  • Public Sector




Excellence in Leadership: Career Achievement

This award honors career achievement for a tourism professional demonstrating excellence in leadership through outstanding initiative, impact of their work, and inspiration of others.

Excellence in Leadership Requirements:

  • Open to professionals of any age
  • No self-nominations are permitted
  • Include the following where applicable:
    • Number of direct or indirect reporting staff
    • Documentation and photos of programs or projects lead, testimonials from those individuals that were directly impacted by the nominee's leadership skills.



Excellence in Young Professional Leadership

This award recognizes the brightest rising star in New York State Tourism. These young colleagues are the ones that have captured your attention because of their outstanding abilities, shown a strong commitment to increasing their expertise in the travel and tourism industry, and have demonstrated a capacity to become a future leader in our industry. Tell us about them.

Excellence in Young Professional Leadership Category Requirements:

  • Young professionals (age 35 or under) who match the above attributes
  • No self-nominations are permitted
  • Nominees must have worked in the tourism industry for at least two years


We Are All In This Together: Extraordinary Efforts in an Extraordinary Year - COVID Response

This special category is intended to recognize the extraordinary efforts put forth by New York State's tourism community that demonstrated creativity, innovation, stewardship and compassion in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Submissions should consider including links to online features, qualitative and quantitative documentation where available, anecdotal feedback/endorsements, etc.

COVID Response Only Categories:

  • Most Significant COVID-Related Impact in Support of A Community and/or Local Business
  • Most Significant COVID-Related Impact in Outreach to/Support of The Consumer
  • Excellence in Leadership in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis