This category recognises tourism operations that foster a greater understanding and appreciation of authentic culture, history, heritage and/or the arts.
1. TOURISM EXCELLENCE (20 marks)
a) Demonstrate your eligibility for this category as related to the descriptor above and provide a brief overview on the nature and history of the business. (6)
b) What cultural tourism products and services do you offer? (6)
c) Describe your commitment to tourism excellence by demonstrating how your business preserves, interprets or celebrates its specific culture, history, heritage and/or art. (5)
d) Describe your involvement in the tourism industry. (3)
a) Take care to ensure you have entered the right category and that your response aligns to the category descriptor. Failure to demonstrate your eligibility will be reflected in your score. Refer to the ABOUT US section of your website as this may assist with this response. Judges will want to know how and when the business started, who works in the business, where it is located and how it has developed over the years. A map will be helpful here.
b) The focus of this question is cultural tourism activities.
c) Explain your values, philosophy and commitment to excellence and what makes you stand out. Explain what your cultural tourism experiences are.
d) Explain how you have been actively involved with and contributed to the tourism industry locally, regionally and nationally.
2. BUSINESS PLANNING (20 marks)
a) Provide an overview of the key features of your business plan including goals, strategies and outcomes and demonstrate how they link with the principles of cultural tourism. (6)
b) Describe any innovations that have taken place during the qualifying period to improve your cultural tourism business and demonstrate how these innovations enhance your cultural tourism experiences/services. (6)
c) What investment has been made in staff training and development and how has this improved the services provided to your guests/visitors? (4)
d) Describe the main preservation, conservation, community and stakeholder risks for your cultural tourism business and how you mitigate the negative impacts of tourism on the cultural environment. (4)
a) Introduce this section with your mission and/or vision statement. A 3-column table would be useful here to display the information. Make sure you use measurable goals and outcomes. Focus on goals related to cultural tourism principles and initiatives.
b) This is a 2-part question. An innovation can be defined as “The process of introducing new or significantly improved goods or services and/or implementing new or significantly improved processes.” (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics). Be sure to include the impact the innovation had on your business.
c) Describe your commitment to training? How do you ensure you and/or your staff gain the correct knowledge and skills to carry out their job? Investment does not need to be financial.
d) Consider all aspects of business risk and ensure you focus on risks with the potential to impact your cultural tourism activity. This response is more than just workplace health and safety.
3. MARKETING (20 marks)
a) Who are your target markets? (4)
b) How do you know your cultural tourism product/service meets the needs of your target markets? (4)
c) Describe how your business is competitively positioned in the marketplace through your cultural tourism positioning and the methods you use to communicate this with your guests/visitors. (6)
d) Describe the innovative marketing strategies you have implemented to encourage new and/or repeat business and demonstrate the success of these initiatives. (6)
a) This question seeks to understand who you have aimed your marketing towards. Consider for example; who they are, where they are from, how old they are, how they purchase travel, what motivates and inspires them and how your product meets their expectations.
b) What research have you conducted or used to determine your target markets? How do you know the target markets you identified in Q 3 a) are right for you?
c) What makes you different from your competitors? Consider for example; size, location, uniqueness, exclusivity, services, facilities. What methods do you use to communicate these to the target markets you have mentioned in Q 3 a)?
d) What have you done differently to attract your customers? Consider for example; social media, digital advertising, apps. The response needs to focus on innovative approaches to marketing your cultural tourism product/experience. Remember to also answer the second part of the question and expand on how these new activities have been successful.
4. CUSTOMER SERVICE (20 marks)
a) Describe your customer service philosophy/values. (5)
b) Explain how you provide for guests/visitors with specific needs. (5)
c) Describe how you measure customer satisfaction and identify areas for improvement. (5)
d) What processes do you have in place to respond to customer complaints? (5)
a) Consider the systems and procedures you have in place to deliver outstanding service. How do you make an effort to understand their needs, welcome them, respect them, thank them and do business with them?
b) Demonstrate how you consider visitors’ special and specific needs. Think about who your customers are and their specific requirements.
c) What processes do you have in place to understand how your customer feels about your product service? For example; feedback forms, monitoring social media, blogs, mystery shoppers etc. Consider providing a case study/example where you have implemented a change based on customer feedback.
d) Consider how you receive feedback for example telephone, email or User Generated Content such as blogs and TripAdvisor. Explain how you respond to each of these different communication channels.
5. SUSTAINABILITY (20 marks)
a) Demonstrate how your business contributes to the local economy. (6)
b) Describe your involvement in partnering with your host community and any external organisations in relation to your cultural tourism initiatives. (7)
c) Describe how your business preserves and protects the local environment. (7)
a) Explain how your business financially contributes to the local economy in your region. For example; local purchasing, employing locals etc.
b) Consider the specific social benefits and involvement you have with your host/local community. Inclusion of examples of collaboration, balancing the needs of residents and visitors, preservation and protection, authenticity and engagement. Also consider supporting local businesses, product packaging,
charitable donations, sponsorship, engagement with community groups, local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people etc.
c) Explain your commitment to environmental sustainability and detail the activities you conduct in relation to conserving cultural assets and measuring water, waste management and energy.
Total score: 100 points. Site Inspection further 20 points.