PublicityShip Hidden Jewel Awards deadline approaches

Winners of the inaugural PublicityShip Hidden Jewel Awards for small tourism operators will be announced on 16 February.

Entries have been streaming in steadily, now approaching 300, thanks to support from regional tourism associations and the simple entry procedure.

Many entrants have praised the structure of the Awards, which are being run entirely online and require three questions to be answered with no more than 200 words each, supported by testimonials, images and weblinks for further background.

The Awards are run by national publicity company, PublicityShip, with the judging panel comprising AAT Kings CEO, Les Cox; Postcards series producer, Alex Ristevski; Australian Traveller editor, Greg Barton; and PublicityShip manager, Jane Hammond Foster.

State/territory winners will receive a three-month publicity campaign, and the national winner will benefit from a 12-month campaign plus a fully supported travel blog to enhance their online marketing strategy.

Judges will use the following criteria for choosing the winners:

  • Point of difference – how successful is the operator in providing a range of unique experiences?
  • Quality – judging from the website and customer testimonials, is the operator providing a top quality experience?
  • Visibility – is this a ‘Hidden Jewel’ that would benefit from additional exposure?
  • The final criterion relates directly to the prizes, supplied by PublicityShip, which aim to boost the winners’ businesses through publicity.

    When the winners are announced, we can provide:

  • Winners’ profiles
  • Contact details for interviews
  • Print quality images
  • We can also discuss opportunities for journalists to experience the winning tours, accommodation or products.

    Quotes from the judges
    Australian Traveller editor, Greg Barton

    “Australian Traveller is delighted to support any project that helps small and worthy tourism businesses to stand out from the crowd.

    “Hidden Jewel is a little gem of an idea. You can be sitting on the greatest product in the world, but without an effective way to get your voice out there, you’re going to struggle every inch of the way.”

    Postcards series producer, Alex Ristevski

    “It is a credit to PublicityShip to create a concept that encompasses our philosophy on tourism promotion.

    “Every day in our travels we meet small tourism operators who work tirelessly to run their business. We certainly understand how difficult it is to ‘spread the word’ and how costly advertising campaigns can be.”

    AAT Kings CEO, Les Cox

    “We are constantly on the lookout for innovative new products that offer a top quality experience for travellers looking to get out and explore Australia.”

    PublicityShip manager, Jane Hammond Foster

    “PublicityShip has targeted small businesses, as they tend to struggle for publicity and yet they are often the ones who are best remembered by holiday makers.

    “By winning a publicity campaign, operators have the chance to showcase their business to a national audience.”

    Editor’s note:
    Please refer to the Awards in full as the PublicityShip Hidden Jewel Awards at first mention.

    PublicityShip specialises in helping small tourism business get their story into the media, and attract and convert potential clients online through effective e-marketing.

    Australian escorted touring company, AAT Kings, incorporates small tourism attractions and boutique accommodation in its itineraries and is known for supporting independent tourism businesses.

    National consumer travel magazine, Australian Traveller, aims to support independent tourism businesses with editorial that doesn’t depend on advertising or hosted famils.

    Channel Nine’s popular Postcards series seeks out new tourism experiences to bring to a wider audience.