Award Categories 2024

Cultural Experience Award

The Cultural Experience Award will recognize a tourism industry business and/or partnership committed to developing, promoting, and delivering an authentic, innovative, and enriched cultural tourism experience.

Sustainable Tourism Award

The Sustainable Tourism Award recognizes excellence in practicing and promoting sustainable tourism. It includes such things as going green, reducing your carbon footprint, supporting sustainable options in destinations, taking care of places, supporting community-based tourism and initiatives, respecting the practices of local people, reducing waste, and so on. Sustainable tourism is focused on the long-term sustainability of the tourism industry, providing tourism opportunities for generations to come.
A: Program budget of over $500K
B: Program budget of under $500K

Great Place to Work Tourism Award

Presented to an Edmonton-based member of the tourism industry who has committed to fostering equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. A leader who embraces innovative ideas to move the company forward while supporting and encouraging workplace and personal life balance, improving well-being and productivity.
The recipient of the Great Place to Work award will be a tourism and hospitality business that:
Communicates in a meaningful and respectful manner.
Delivers incentive programs that reward employees.
Promotes empowerment and personal growth.
Provides employee training, education, and professional development.
Provides fair compensation and benefits.
Provides work-life balance.
It is fair and respectful and encourages integrity.
Embraces workplace diversity.
Provides a positive, safe, and secure workplace environment.

Sports Event of the Year Award

is awarded for an outstanding event showcasing athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess or an experience related to a sporting event.  Submissions may be from marathons, races, team sports, other competitive events, team drafts, and other related experiences. They should include activations or other strategies that engage fans/spectators.

Category A: Event budget greater than $1 million 

Category B: Event budget less than $1 million

Business Event of the Year Award

is awarded for the effective and creative planning of a business event, meeting, conference, or convention. Judging is based on effectiveness and originality of content, relevance to the event/subject matter, choice of speaker(s), delivery methods, integration of technology and/or social media, audience interaction, and learning environment. Submissions should highlight how these elements reflected the messaging and goal of the conference or meeting.

Festival of the Year Award

is awarded for the most exceptional and effective experience that generates awareness and enthusiastic engagement with the festival. Entries should highlight how the experience was innovative and conducive to building the festival’s image. Submissions will be judged on the festival activation’s creativity, originality, and efficacy.

Destination Event of the Year Award

Presented to the tourism and hospitality group or organization that, through the production of an event (non-business, sporting, or festival-related), best exemplifies the spirit of Edmonton. It generates tourism visitation to the City of Edmonton.

The recipient of the Destination Event of the Year award will be a tourism and hospitality organization or business that hosts/organizes an event that:
Increases visitation to the City of Edmonton and the greater metro region.
Demonstrates the ability to satisfy visitor expectations successfully.
Generates/stimulates tourism and economic activity in the City of Edmonton and the metro region.

The Culinary Tourism Award

Awarded for an outstanding event, program, or organization that works with communities to grow food tourism by leveraging the history, heritage, and culture behind the food and drink that makes Alberta’s destination unique.

Attraction of the Year Award

This award honors the best attractions, from theme parks and zoos to guided visits. It recognizes venues that stand out for their appeal to all visitors. The Attraction of the Year Award will be presented to a tourism business or organization that provides an outstanding attraction that is a leader in applying industry best practices in all aspects of operations.
The recipient of the Attraction of the Year Award will go to a tourism and hospitality organization that:
Promotes visitor participation and satisfaction.
Showcases and promotes regional tourism and hospitality experiences.
Contributes to or enhances the tourism and hospitality industry.
Builds tourism and economic activity in the City of Edmonton.

Tourism Business of the Year Award

The business of the year award will be given to a tourism organization or business that typifies industry best practices in all areas of its operations and thus is an example of overall business excellence in the tourism industry. The recipients of the Large Tourism or Small to Medium-sized Tourism awards will:
Have a business strategy that demonstrates long-term viability.
Show a commitment to visitor, participant, and spectator satisfaction.
Have plans for growth, innovation, and product or service development.
Contribute to or improve the tourism industry.
Demonstrate excellence in human resources development.
Work to create an environment that embraces equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

A: Small businesses with under 50 employees
B: Large Businesses with over 50 employees

Best Tourism Influencer Award

The Best Tourism Influencer Award is awarded to an Influencer who promotes tourism to the City of Edmonton and includes but is not limited to, celebrities, social media stars, journalists, or industry experts.

Hotelier, Lifetime Achievement Award

The Hotelier Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution of energy, service, and talent towards the growth of the hotel industry through volunteer work, service, or business accomplishments. Focusing on hotel tourism building, the recipient demonstrates leadership, vision, and innovation built on a solid foundation of strong values and sound business strategies. Individuals must be retired or current members of Edmonton Destination Marketing Hotels.
Nominees for the Hotelier Lifetime Achievement Award should be an individual who:
They dedicated the majority of their professional careers to the hotel sector.
Made an outstanding personal contribution to the hotel sector.
They helped to create growth in Edmonton’s hotel sector through innovation, astute business practices, and the development of new opportunities.
Demonstrated leadership in the hotel industry through their engagement with tourism partners at the local, provincial, and national levels.
Leave a positive and lasting legacy with the people they have worked with.
(Nominees are generally retired or in the twilight of their hotel careers.)