Local tourism body Tourism Darling Downs hosted a Garden Party at the iconic Gabbinbar Homestead on Thursday 8 February to announce new tourism strategies that will soon be implemented to boost the region’s visitation.

From the opportunity to install a beach for a short time in the heart of the Garden City, to the true definition of a ‘race-cation’, members were in for an enchanting evening of surprises and entertainment, all while enjoying wine and hand crafted canapés on the lawns of Gabbinbar.

New age tourism strategies were at the forefront of the evening in a masterclass forum hosted by industry luminaries John Sharpe, David James and Andrew Ching with the key focus on how to get the edge on tourism now and into the future.

Tourism Darling Downs CEO Ruth Wetmore said it was a coup to have industry leaders of this calibre come together for the sold out event, one she hopes will be the launching pad for local tourism in 2018.

“John Sharpe is the owner and founder of Riverlife, P&O Edge and more; and David James is the director of Tangalooma Island Resort while Andrew Ching is the founder and chief dreamer of the Malaysian Event Management Company E Plus Global,” said Ruth.

“Together, their knowledge of tourism and events will not only inspire but help ignite the potential of the Darling Downs and surrounds as a world class tourism destination.”

Tourism Darling Downs Chairman John Wagner said that the event was live streamed for those who could not attend in person.

Those lucky enough to attend the event learnt about the an international Trail Run destined for Toowoomba in September, and enjoyed an exclusive preview of the Empire Theatre’s production Pirates of Penzance.

Guests were also witness to the launch of the Top 10 Experiences in Toowoomba and surrounds – a Tourism Darling Down initiative produced to showcase the best local experiences to the world, underpinned by The Toowoomba and Surrounds Visitor’s Guide.

Readers also enjoyed socials from the Garden Party