Darling Downs Tourism celebrated its launch at Wellcamp Airport on Tuesday, 13 June. More than 500 guests sipped champagne, nibbled canapés designed by celebrity chef Amanda Hinds, and listened to country music singer Chelsea Basham.

A breakaway group from the Southern Queensland Country Tourism, Darling Down Tourism has been formed at the behest of leading Toowoomba businessman John Wagner. Wagner is the inaugural chair of Darling Down Tourism, which will cover Toowoomba, Kingaroy, Goodiwindi, Stanthorpe and the Lockyer Valley.

Other board members of the fledgling association are Geoff Davenport, Tony Heckendorf, David James, Isaac Moody and Russell Peters. Strategic marketer Ruth Wetmore has been appointed as chief executive officer.

Wagner, who describes the organization as an exciting innovation for the region, says the body will be “committed to developing and promoting the Darling Downs brand.”

“We have an amazing region and the mission of Darling Downs Tourism is to promote the finest quality, authentic experiences in our local area to visitors while boosting the benefit to our business community,” he told the gathering.

Wetmore said that it is important that the spectacular and unique experiences of the region are promoted properly.

“Our aim will be to deliver game changing outcomes for our visitors, our industry and our more than 2,000 operators,” she said.

“We will be membership based and we urge every business on the Darling Downs to join our organization. Tourism generates more than $1.3 billion per annum, an astonishing $3.5 million per day, in direct and indirect revenue for the region, which in turn creates more than 10,000 jobs.”

Read more about Darling Downs Tourism here.