Entry Criteria

Submissions for 2024 are now closed.

Eligible businesses and organizations include:

  • Destination marketing organizations
  • Convention & visitor bureaus
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Tourism attractions
  • Museums and cultural institutions
  • Restaurants, cafés and bars
  • Hotels and accommodations
  • Retail and entertainment centers
  • Other travel and hospitality-related organizations and associations

Award Categories

There are nine (9) Tourism Award categories. Each category has two awards, defined by annual operating budgets (not marketing budgets):

  • Budget A is for total annual operating budget of $750,000 or more.
  • Budget B is for total annual operating budget of under $750,000.
  1. Outstanding Niche Targeting: Marketing efforts directed to a specific type or category of travel, including but not limited to: cultural heritage tourism, agritourism, ecotourism, adventure tourism, wildlife tourism, voluntourism, LGBTQ, culinary, girlfriend getaways, etc.
  2. Best Social Media Marketing: Creative use of social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and other popular social media platforms to promote a tourism experience or product. Results should include analytics, performance against targets, dashboard data (likes, engagement, re-tweets, pins, shares, growth over period) and paid tactics
  3. Best Cooperative Partnership: Any campaign, program, tour, publication, event or other activity that is the result of partnership between three or more destinations, businesses or organizations who share resources to promote a common tourism experience or product. Results should include clear statement of partnership goals; any/all results, depending on activation media used.
  4. Best Branding Initiative: Campaign, tool or activity designed to revitalize the destination brand, establish new brand identity or create brand awareness. May include industry economic impact messaging.
  5. Best Website: Website used to promote a destination with criteria based on design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use. Results should include in addition to the number of unique visitors, time on site, signals of intent to travel and any other relevant conversion metrics.
  6. Best Printed Collateral: Entries can include, but are not limited to: printed visitor guides, print advertising pieces, brochures, etc. Entry should include information on media plan, targeting, audience and specific results. Metrics should include: print quantity, distribution and audience.
  7. Best Event or Festival: Event or festival designed to attract visitors to an area and provide a positive economic impact including hotel overnight stays and restaurant revenue.
  8. Best PR Campaign: Campaigns may be directed at niche markets or a general travel audience.Campaigns may also relate to special events, crisis management programs or overall tourism promotion. They must focus on a single, unified theme. Results should include: impressions, results, pick-up and social media (if applicable).
  9. Best Tourism Marketing Campaign: Marketing, promotion and/or campaign created to overall promote a tourism destination. This category recognizes creativity, innovation, clearly stated objectives and how those are measured, and the demonstrated results from a program that utilized multiple media components.

Judging Criteria

You will be asked to supply information about your project, including details of:

  • Your Target Market/Audience
  • Your Purpose/Marketing Objectives
  • Execution – strategies you used to meet your target audience and stated objectives
  • Impact/Results – how you measured and achieved success or effectiveness with this project

The judges will be looking for innovative tourism marketing initiatives and outstanding results and will evaluate entries based on the following criteria:

  • Does the entry form clearly and completely answer all questions?
  • Does the entry describe and meet its stated target audience and objectives?
  • Is the project’s message clear, easy to understand and well-organized?
  • Is the project innovative, demonstrating originality and creativity?
  • Did the entry achieve strong results/return-on-investment?

Judges will also rate the overall impression and effectiveness of the entry.

*Terms and conditions for Award Submissions: Entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. CT on Friday, February 9, 2024. In-market dates for award submissions must be July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2023. Please note that all entries will be judged in advance of the Conference. No repeat entries are allowed. Entrants can only use their entry in ONE category. Entries that have received an award are not eligible to be submitted again for two years. Special conditions apply.