what do nsw tourism awards mean?


Over the years Clive and Tracy have been fortunate enough to win many Tourism Awards for Hillcrest ~ originally for Hillcrest Bed & Breakfast and then a few years later, when they built Mountain View Cottage and changed their name to Hillcrest Mountain View Retreat, for the operation as a whole.

This page explains what some of the logos and Awards symbols you see displayed on the Hillcrest website actually mean for you, the guest.



far north coast nsw bed and breakfasts Accredited Tourism Business Australia:

a business is only allowed to display this logo if they have undergone the Accreditation process by the appropriate National or State Tourism Industry Council. The Accreditation process is initially by involved written submission outlining all the business practices, from customer service, relevant industry approvals and insurances, staff training, occupational health & safety and operational procedures as well as marketing and customer service. All claims made in the submission must be backed up by documented proof.

After initial approval there is an annual site inspection by independent adjudicators from outside the area. This ensures standards are maintained after the initial process. If standards slip, you lose your Accreditation and are no longer entitled to display the logo.

If you stay with an Accredited Tourism Business you know that they not only run in a professional manner, but they have all relevant licences and insurance in place and are trained in the health and safety of themselves and their guests. Accreditation is not transferable to new owners so you can be assured that your hosts have undergone the accreditation process themselves.

Hillcrest was initially Accredited by the Tourism Industry Council in October 2004 ~ The First and Only Business in the Northern Rivers Region to be Accredited under the National Scheme


Hotel and Motel Association of Australia - sets minimum standards and guidelines for all accommodation sectors across Australia. Holds annual Awards in different industry sectors.

Hillcrest Won the 2007 & the 2008 HMAA Awards for Excellence in Hosted Accommodation for NSW and was a National Finalist in 2009

far north coast nsw accommodation

australian tourism award winning accommodation

NSW State Tourism Awards:

NSW Tourism, the official State tourism organisation, runs annual State Tourism Awards for the industry. These are the most important Awards on the State calendar as winners go forward to the National Awards. There is no way a business can directly enter the National Tourism Awards - they MUST first win the NSW Tourism State Awards. Other Awards are run on a State-wide basis by such operations as the Hotel & Motel Association, however winners of the HMAA Awards are NOT entitled to enter the National Tourism Awards.

Entry is by submission and independent site inspection. The submission is long, 40 pages with another 50 pages of supporting information, and covers the areas of customer service, customer satisfaction, facilities, best practice, eco friendliness, risk management, staff training, local commitment and commitment to the industry as a whole.

When you stay at a business that has been judged as one of the top 5 in the State in the NSW Tourism Awards you can be assured that not only do they have superb facilities, but their customer service and satisfaction levels have been proven to be - well one of the best 5 in the whole State. As you might expect when the best of the best compete, it is generally a very tightly fought race, Example: In 2003 only 1 point separated the top 3 in the finals - however there is only one Award i.e. no second or third place are announced.

Hillcrest Won the NSW Tourism Award of Excellence in 2004

Hillcrest represented the State of NSW as a Finalist at the Australian National Tourism Awards in February 2005

Hillcrest was a NSW State Tourism Award Finalist in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008


far north coast nsw accredited accommodation Northern Rivers Tourism:

NRT runs annual Tourism Awards for businesses in the Northern Rivers region. The Northern Rivers region incorporates the Ballina Shire, Lismore, Grafton, Byron Shire & Tweed Shire, an area that runs from the NSW/QLD border inland and down the coast to just North of Coffs Harbour.

Entry is by submission and anonymous site inspection. The submission follows the NSW Tourism State Awards outline, sometimes just part of it, and sometimes the whole thing. For the hosted accommodation section the judges stay as guests ~ all we know is the approximate 4 week period in which they will stay, we never find out who they were.

Although finalists are announced, they are listed alphabetically with no category listed, so it's hard to tell how many finalists there are in each section ~ we estimate that there are usually two.

To win the Northern Rivers Regional Tourism Awards and be judged the best in your region automatically places you at finalist level in the State Awards. However in recent years the State Awards finalists have been announced before the Regional Awards have taken place, so we know that Hillcrest has gained State Finals level independently of our Regional wins.

Hillcrest Won the Northern Rivers Regional Tourism Award of Excellence in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005
and was inducted into the Hall of Fame for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008


Star Rating AAA Tourism Star Rating:

This is the official Star Rating system and guarantees certain minimum standards of facilities but does not take into account customer service. AAAT has copyrighted the Star Rating System and vigorously pursues any business displaying a rating who is not entitled to do so.

Businesses are rated on the level of facilities, maintenance and cleanliness. They also have to provide proof of insurance. Rating is by annual site inspection by a trained AAAT inspector who marks rooms according to a points system. Whilst a certain number of points may entitle an operation to have an extra Star, within each Star level certain minimum standards apply. For example: Smiths Motel has enough points to be a 4 star, but because not all of their rooms have ensuite bathrooms they can only be a 3 frac12;.

Hillcrest was Rated by AAAT as a 4½ Star Establishment but chose to drop out of the system in February 2009 due to cost of participation versus numbers of bookings via the AAAT system.


nsw tourism awards winners Australia Post Small Business Awards:

The Small Business Awards are held annually for small businesses across NSW and ACT and are open to all types of business, not just those in the hospitality and tourism sector.

There were 3000 entries in 6 categories including Customer Service, which is always a hotly contended category with over 250 entries from the two States. Hillcrest was judged as one of only 3 finalists in this category in 2005 and missed out on top place by 1 point to a hairdressers on the Central Coast who had developed a computer booking system which they subsequently sold to other salons across Australia and the world.


self contained cottage accommodation murwillumbah northern nsw australia Bed & Breakfast and Farmstay Association of NSW & ACT:

Members of the BBFANSW & ACT agree to maintain certain minimum standards through an elaborate Code of Practice involving among other things a detailed Quality Checklist, and to provide proof of their local Council Approval to operate as a Tourism Business as well as annual proof of full and proper insurance cover.

From June 2005 any member not inspected and rated by AAA Tourism (see "Star Rating" above) must pay for an inspection to ensure that they adhere to the minimum standards as claimed.

Hillcrest has always been a member of BBFANSW


Trust Earned Travel (www.Tet.org) educates business and vacation travelers. Certifies websites as trustworthy on-line business operators. Has a feedback system whereby members of the public may lodge a complaint against any fraudulent website or business using bad practice.

Hillcrest Was Certified as a Trustworthy On-Line Business in 2007

We hope that these explanations clarify things a little for you and that we may welcome you to Hillcrest sometime in the near future. Please click on the buttons below to learn more about what we have to offer smile


Hillcrest Mountain View Retreat

Choice of Luxury Bed & Breakfast or Self Contained Cottage Accommodation, Tweed Valley in the Tweed Coast hinterland. Peace, Privacy, Spectacular Views from Mt Warning to the Rainforests of Springbrook, Luxury Double jacuzzi spa baths, Fully Air-Conditioned, Salt-water Swimming Pool, Wood Fire for Winter Romance & Jolly Good Food

Upper Crystal Creek Road, Crystal Creek via Murwillumbah, Tweed Valley, Northern NSW 2484, Australia

Phone: (02) 6679 1023 (within Australia)
+61 266 791 023 (international)
Email: Enquiry Form Link