Meeting to look into tourism future

MEMBERS of the Southern Downs community are invited to attend a presentation on the amalgamation of the region's two tourism bodies tomorrow evening.

The meeting commencing at 5.30pm will allow members of the community to listen to a presentation on the report released by the Southern Downs Regional Council, following recommendations by the Tourism Transfer Reference Group, to combine the two groups.

Warwick Tourism and Events chair Majella Kahler says that ultimately one tourism group is of benefit to the shire.

"The focus of the merger will be on unity between the two groups under the banner of Destination Southern Downs," Mrs Kahler said. The decision to merge Warwick Tourism and Events and Granite Belt Wine and Tourism was made by the the council at the February council meeting.

There have previously been concerns that prestigious Warwick events like Jumpers and Jazz, which last year brought in almost $2.5 million will lose funding when the two groups are merged.

"The community needs reassurance that funding following the implementation of these recommendations will be maintained or improved for events," Mrs Kahler explained.

The report also resolves previous concerns that Warwick would not be well represented in a unified tourism group. Mrs Kahler says the merger will give the opportunity to develop and market more events in the region.

"I would encourage anyone with interest in the future of Warwick and the Southern Downs to come along to listen and hear the report and make up their own minds about the future of tourism in the area," she said.


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