THE largest tourism organisations in the Darling Downs are preparing to join forces with the formation of a new regional tourism organisation.
Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey said the new RTO would be created by bringing together Toowoomba Golden West, South Burnett Tourism, Southern Downs and Granite Belt Regional Tourism.
Ms Stuckey said the aim was to steer tourism activities across south-eastern Queensland.
"The new body is a great outcome for the region and will cover an area roughly twice the size of Tasmania, taking in some of the state's most exciting food and wine areas," she said.
Chair of the transition board Associate Professor Jane Summers said she was pleased to be at the helm of a group of people focused on getting great tourism outcomes for locals.
"Those of us who live in southern Queensland know it's one of the most beautiful places on earth and it's a privilege to get to share that with people who come to visit," she said.
"Today marks an important day for our local area, local tourism operators and all the businesses that benefit from more visitors to our region.
"By bringing this group together we're able to pool local talent and resources to deliver a big, bright and unashamedly bold new brand for tourism in Southern Queensland Country."
Ms Summers said it was a step in the right direction.
"While it's a big step for our community, it's the right one,' she said.
Southern Queensland Country Tourism will start autonomous operation in October.