News

Tourism merger could see a lift

Another beautiful winter's day on the Granite Belt, what could be better?
Another beautiful winter's day on the Granite Belt, what could be better? Shannon Newley

A NEW tourism supergroup could be on the cards, with the aim of seeing more visitors flock to the Southern Downs to spend their tourist dollars.

A report was released yesterday for tourism operators across the region, which recommended the Warwick Tourism and Events and Granite Belt Wine and Tourism bodies merge under one "umbrella".

It was pitched that the two entities would combine their talents in the realms of strategies and promotion, to lure visitors and build what could be one of the most successful inland tourism regions in Australia.

Through research, investigations and consultation with various stakeholders, Team Tourism Consulting, contracted by the Southern Downs Regional Council, came up with a strategy to merge the two groups.

"Two local tourism organisations (LTOs) are not currently maximising opportunities for growth because there is no single point of contact," consultant Jennifer Houiellebecq said.

She said having two bodies meant there were gaps in services where they were not working together.

"It's about working together to improve first impressions and effectively attract investment to the region," Ms Houiellebecq said.

She said the four pillars the Southern Downs' proposed strategy aimed to base itself on were festivals and events, culture and heritage, wine and local flavours and ecotourism.

She added by combining both tourism bodies, each region could benefit from what the other had to offer.

Southern Downs Mayor Peter Blundell said he was pleased with the strategy put forward by the consultants yesterday and felt creating a consolidated LTO was the best for the region.

"I hate the term amalgamation because it puts a bad context in people's minds, but this definitely has a lot of benefits," Cr Blundell said.

"It is a good idea and I have agonised over it too, but what we should all do is step back from our personal positions and look at what's best for the region."

Cr Blundell said the council would not be up for putting any more money into tourism than had already been allocated in the 2012-13 budget, but was keen to implement a structure that could "serve our tourism industry well into the future".

"I think the question is, can we afford not to do it?" Cr Blundell said.

Spring Creek Mountain Cafe and Cottages owner Bev Ruskey said she too was all for the idea.

"Warwick's always recognised for its events and they're run really well and I certainly don't want to see any of that being affected, but it's a good idea and we've got to accept this is going to happen and has got to happen," Mrs Ruskey said.

"I'm hopeful that what has been started here in Warwick will stay and events will keep growing."

The strategy is yet to go through the Southern Downs Regional Council, and will be brought up at a meeting over the next couple of months.

Topics:  merger tourism



Allora shines for autumn festival

Ross Neale and his outstanding penny-farthing bicycle wowed the crowds at the Allora Autumn Festival.

It's Allora's time to shine over the weekend

Truck fire on Cunningham Hwy

photo Lea Emery / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Reports of a truck fire had crews scrambling this afternoon

Mopar Muscle cars heading to Morgan Park this afternoon

Mackenzie, Payton and Savannah Ganly at the Mopar car display in Leslie Park.

Head out to Morgan Park for an afternoon of classic Chrysler action

Local Partners

Sam Thaiday stars in Broncos’ carpool karaoke

SAM Thaiday has stunned with his karaoke rendition of Celine Dion.

What's on the small screen this week

My Kitchen Rule's mother and daughter contestants Valerie and Courtney.

MY KITCHEN Rules grand finalists face off and Love Child returns.

Anthony LaPaglia steps out with new fiancee

Anthony LaPaglia.

Actor Anthony LaPaglia engaged to much younger girlfiend

Ronan Keating a dad for fourth time

Ronan Keating and Storm Keating.

Bouncing baby boy for Boyzone star

Lion King remake well under way

Seth Rogen.

More Lion King remake cast members revealed

Splendour auctions VIP passes for flood appeal

Crowd at Splendour in the Grass 2016.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Each pass will have a reserve price of $500

Falling rents could spell doom for housing prices

What if I told you housing in Australia was getting cheaper?

Couple gets rich renovating run-down city homes

RENO RADICALS: Baden and Nelson Marino-Hall have turned three Toowoomba homes around for profit, saying the Garden City was a haven for renovators like themselves.

The couple has already turned around three homes

Townhouse pitch raises questions over 'high density'

BIG PLANS: Residents have a chance to offer their opinion on plans to build 42 townhouses at Raceview.

Developer plans 42 townhouses for Ipswich suburb

7 million dollar city homes for sale right now

3 Keira Court, Blue Mountain Heights.

Here are seven of Toowoomba's best, and most expensive, houses

'Raping and pillaging': Landlord's anger with nightmare cost

Chris Duane, who is chairman of the body corporate for Terralina Court, says insurance companies are charging too much for premiums.

BODY corporate boss unleashes on huge costs dumped on home owners.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!