A national wine expert has been secured to assist with wine tourism recovery in the Southern Downs and Scenic Rim Regional Council areas following last year’s bushfires. With more than 30 years industry experience, Jan Douglas has been appointed to the role of Wine Tourism Recovery Officer.

This position is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments as a component of the 2019 Queensland Bushfires Community Recovery Package under Category C of the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. The Tourism Minister Kate Jones said this high profile appointment would make a difference to the area.

“The appointment of this Wine Tourism Recovery Officer is all about providing additional support for the Southern Queensland wine sector,” she said. “While COVID-19 has played havoc with the state’s tourism sector, the re-opening of intrastate travel will allow visitors to drive to the Southern Queensland wine area, which covers the Scenic Rim, Warwick and the Granite Belt to sample their great wines.”

As many of the region’s local tourism operators navigate recovery from natural disasters and COVID-19 travel restrictions, the new role will support businesses and industry through key projects and events with a focus on driving wine tourism business development, growth and resilience. Southern Downs Councillor for Tourism Stephen Tancred said the recruitment of Jan was a triumph for the region, with her national skills and experience value-adding and complimenting the existing professionalism of the local winemakers.

“Spanning three decades in the wine industry, Jan’s wine pedigree is both impressive and extensive and we are lucky to have the services of a successful wine marketing expert,” Cr Tancred said. “The region’s winemakers will link in with the Scenic Rim region to show food and wine lovers the best South East Queensland has to offer. “Queenslanders are supporting the Southern Downs in the post-lockdown short travel spree and our exceptional Granite Belt wines are the front and centre reasons for that popularity.

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