James Corvan is the interim general manager for Southern Downs and Granite Belt Regional Tourism.
James Corvan is the interim general manager for Southern Downs and Granite Belt Regional Tourism.

Corvan back to boost tourism

AFTER 21 years James Corvan has stepped back into the manager role to help boost tourism once again on the Southern Downs.

For six weeks Mr Corvan has been in the position of the interim general manager for Southern Downs and Granite Belt Regional Tourism (SDGBRT).

“It is good to be back to see the changes that have happened in the area,” Mr Corvan said.

Mr Corvan is currently dividing his time as head of both the SDGBRT and the Toowoomba and Golden West region where he spends two days a week in each region.

With both general managers leaving the organisations in the same month Mr Corvan was brought in to work with both regions for three months.

“It is really good, there are differences but there are a lot of similarities as well in the people they attract,” Mr Corvan said. “That makes like easier for me.”

He was the manager for the region for four years from 1989 and is remembered for bringing the region to life in the winter months.

Brass Monkey was his “baby” as Mr Corvan puts it after he was confronted with a region which didn’t attract much tourism in the cooler part of the year.

“When I first joined the organisation I had a comment made saying I wouldn’t have much to do as winter was the quietest time of year,” Mr Corvan said.

“That was a challenge and one I believed we could do something about.”

He was at a Stanthorpe winery one winter evening when he said to a friend “this is Brass Monkey weather” and the concept was born, boosting tourism on the Southern Downs in the frosty weather ever since.

“It was truth in advertising and it had a cheeky name and it caught on – the rest is history,” Mr Corvan said.

Mr Corvan said he couldn’t comment on the future of the two organisations and whether this current connection would result in a future amalgamation.

For the meantime he said it was a great opportunity to work between the two regions which can both complement each other.

He said the two regions had an opportunity to work together, for example with the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Warwick may be able to provide accommodation or be an added scenic drive.

“I am here for three months basically to work with both the boards to look at efficiency, cost savings and we will be able to announce shortly some longer term moves as to what is happening over the next 12 months,” Mr Corvan said.

“It is not about losing identity it is about planning for change and the way the things are done.”



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