The Heritage and Cultural Tourism award recognizes an institution, individual or organization for contributions to the promotion and celebration of Montana’s authentic and unique culture or natural history as an important attraction for visitors and Montana residents alike. Eligible nominees may include specific attractions (museums, historical or cultural attractions, libraries, events), individuals or organizations for extraordinary accomplishment in promoting the state's heritage and cultural assets. Who among us tells the story in a meaningful and culturally appropriate way that ensures generations to come will be informed and delighted by Montana's rich culture and heritage?

The Marketing Campaign of the Year award recognizes an outstanding tourism-related marketing campaign (including any combination of paid, owned or earned media) executed within the past calendar year. For this award, the marketing campaign is defined as a series of planned marketing activities, channels and methods that produce measurable results related directly to the campaign.

For a campaign to be eligible the nominee must be one of the following: a designated Montana Tourism Region or Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (CVB), a Destination Management Organization (DMO) or a tourism related non-profit organization, public or private. 

Individual businesses (resorts, park concessions, shopping malls, attractions, events owned/operated by a single business/corporation) are NOT eligible. If a nominee is a community and the campaign is a joint effort, please designate one lead organization to be the nominee and primary contact.

Judges may evaluate the following criteria and measurements:

• Innovative strategy, tactics or execution

• Quality of creative assets (use the form below to upload examples)

• Enhancement of Montana’s image at the regional, national or global scales

• Analytics highlighting key performance indicators or return on investment - measurements such as increase in visitors, attendance, lodging stays or extension, requests/inquiries, etc.

This award acknowledges and celebrates significant commitment demonstrated by an individual (or a group of individuals) who exemplifies the positive impact volunteers have on Montana's tourism and recreation industries and who goes above and beyond to ensure visitors' experiences are positive and worth repeating.

Judges may consider the following criteria and measurements:

• Contributions to a specific tourism-related event, attraction, organization or project and results that include increased participation, extended visitors' stays, leveraging of financial and in-kind contributions or a combination of any of these things.

• Contributions made by the volunteer(s) without which would have left a goal unmet, a gap in funding, staffing or resources, or reduced the offering (i.e. it would not have been possible or happened without the volunteer's participation).

• The volunteer(s) is not regularly paid for the specific body of work they are being nominated for. They may be a paid staff member(s), but someone who was not paid for the contributions they are being recognized for (i.e. a VIC staff member who volunteers for a fundraising event that is not part of his/her regular employment duties and who contributed personal time, talent and resources).

• Measurement of time and talent volunteered may be in the form of hours with special note for weekends and holidays, duties and work performed such as fundraising event coordinator, sponsorship, mentor, guide, receptionist, actor, accountant or bookkeeper, ticket -taker, maintenance or security, etc.


This award acknowledges the collaboration of private and public partners whose joint work enhances the Montana tourism industry by providing innovative and sustainable tourism products, solutions or strategies that have identifiable and measurable results. 

A public sector partner is one that is owned and operated by a governmental entity (local, state, tribal, federal).

A private sector partner is one that is owned and operated by non-governmental entity (business, corporation, association, advocacy groups, non-profit trust, etc.). 

Judges may evaluate the following criteria and measurements:

• Use of partnerships to strengthen tourism and destination development; doing more together than would have been possible alone

• Incorporation of the Montana Brand that markets Montana’s unspoiled nature, vibrant and charming small towns, breathtaking experiences, relaxing hospitality, and competitive business climate to promote the state as a place to visit and do business

• Contribution to the regional and state tourism economy

• Investments from all the public and private resources (financial or in-kind) combined for the collaborative project with emphasis where funds were leveraged or would not have been available if collaboration was not part of the structure

• Enhancement of Montana’s image at the regional, national or global scales

• Measurements may include reporting of increased visitation, longer visitors' stays, improved infrastructure, sustainability projections, revenue, cost-savings, etc.

This is the "lifetime achievement award" for a Montana tourism professional. It is to be awarded to an individual to recognize his/her history of dedication and significant positive contributions to tourism and recreation at the community, regional or statewide levels. 

Judges may evaluate the following criteria: 

• Employment of creative and innovative approaches to their work

• Education of others regarding the Montana Brand, the economic impact of Montana's tourism industry and the sharing of resources available to strengthen tourism and recreation

• Enhancement of Montana’s image at the regional, national or global scales

• Leadership and inspiration

Montana Governor's Conference on Tourism and Recreation