Assessment criteria for touring routes of national significance

When the National Tourism Signage Reference Group (NTSRG) assesses an application for a touring route, we apply certain criteria. This page explains the 14 criteria and guides you through the process of preparing and writing an application for consideration.

Touring routes must meet requirements in the following four areas:

  • Business and product development
  • Signage and safety management
  • Marketing
  • Finance.

Business and product development

Your application must include:

  1. Evidence of consultation with – and support from – senior management of State/Territory tourism authorities:
    • Consultation needs to be with senior managers of the authorities, with related knowledge and responsibilities, rather than regional officers, in order to determine the level and form of support.
    • Consultation can also be undertaken with your State/Territory representatives on the NTSRG.
  2. Evidence of consultation with – and support from – State/Territory road authorities:
    • Consultation needs to be with senior managers of the authorities, with related knowledge and responsibilities, rather than regional officers.
    • Initial consultation should be with the State/Territory road authority representative on the NTSRG.
  3. A business and marketing plan for the proposed route, in order to demonstrate long-term sustainability, including:
    • governance and long-term financial management
    • ownership of any infrastructure created through the initiative
    • ongoing ownership, maintenance and replacement of tourist road signing (not reliant on attracting future State and Federal funding)
    • ongoing ownership and distribution of support collateral and marketing material.
  4. Uniqueness of the touring route:
    • Describe the essential element of the route that exemplifies Australia.
    • What gives it strong appeal to international visitors? What research or anecdotal evidence do you have to demonstrate this? Please describe by market, e.g. German couples aged 45-65 years.
    • What is its ‘WOW’ factor and its Unique Selling Proposition?
    • Are there attractions/features on the route that are of national and/or world significance?
  5. Theming:
    • If the route has a theme, outline how it relates to the intrinsic natural and/or cultural heritage of the region/s through which it travels.
  6. Integration:
    • Describe to what extent the route fits within a State/Territory tourism authority development plan, and what outcomes are anticipated for the State/Territory as a result?

Signage and safety management

Your application must include information about:

  1. Signposting.
    • Is additional signposting proposed for the route?
    • If so, for what purpose? (directional, informational, interpretation etc.). What types of signs are likely to be needed? What level of engagement have you had with the State/Territory roads authority?
    • If not, describe how travellers will be expected to navigate this route?
  2. Outline the long-term/ongoing sign maintenance contracts with land managers/road authorities, including cost liability for sign replacement
    • Quality/suitability of road surface/s
    • A road safety assessment should be conducted by the relevant State/Territory road authority. This assessment should evaluate if there are any constraints (can the road/s safely carry coaches, towing restrictions etc.) and their capacity for greater volume of traffic.
    • Are sections subject to seasonal closure?
    • Are all roads sealed?
    • Is the route well maintained to permit safe, comfortable year-round visitation?
    • Is the surface suitable for motorists at all levels of driving experience (domestic and international)?
    • Have you undertaken a route risk-management assessment, especially with regard to international travel industry litigation and, if so, with whom?
  3. A management plan to address motorist safety and driver fatigue on the route, especially in remote areas
    • Is there adequate infrastructure (e.g. fuel, food, water etc.)? Please highlight the frequency of this infrastructure.
  4. Integration of the route with other tourist drives and touring routes. What other established touring routes or tourist drives already exist at any point on your proposed touring route?
    • Please attach a map showing the proposed route and other touring routes/tourist drives.
    • What plans are in place to integrate with these routes to avoid consumer confusion?


Please include:

  1. Substantiated evidence of consumer demand for the proposed route, especially international demand:
    • What consumer research has been undertaken? (e.g. macro trends, site-specific surveys etc.). Please provide a summary of key results.
    • How will it generate new demand, rather than simply drawing trade away from another existing route?
  2. Marketing collateral material produced for the route:
    • Is the planned marketing collateral planned able to be used as an effective navigational aid by travellers?
    • Does it include detailed mapping and clear references?


Your application must include information about:

  1. Funding support for the project. Please provide evidence of the following:
    • initial funding for establishment/implementation of project, including amounts and contributor/s
    • ongoing funding to ensure sustainability of the tourism product, including amounts and contributor/s
    • maintenance funding to maintain and replace route signing, including amounts and contributor/s.

Please provide evidence of ongoing commitment from contributing agencies, e.g. MOUs, letters of endorsement, contractual agreements etc.