LIMESTONE Coast Tourism is in its death throes, with the organisation all but assured to be wound up at a special meeting on November 13.
A board meeting of the association in late August recommended the organisation be wound up, chair Erika Vickery reported.
"We're just not financially sustainable," Mrs Vickery said.
Limestone Coast Tourism now depends on its subscribed members for income - and with that number down from 140 members four years ago to just 36 today, that had become untenable.
"It's a bit of a catch 22 because if you can't offer your members something worthwhile then the incentive to become a member is not there," Mrs Vickery said.
What the group could offer its members was discussed at the August board meeting.
"It was very difficult with the changes that have occurred over the last 18 months - there was really little we could offer."
These changes included the withdrawal of funds to regional tourism bodies.
"The SA Tourism Commission about 18 months ago changed their funding and their organisation of regional tourism," Mrs Vickery said.
"They withdrew the funding to Limestone Coast Tourism and other regional bodies they were giving funding to."
This left the group without the three employees who were paid to run the association.
At the same time the SE Local Government Association, which also funded Limestone Coast Tourism, made the decision to create a position of tourism industry development officer instead of withdrawing funding.
The SA Tourism Commission and Limestone Coast Tourism each made a contribution to funding this position, occupied by Biddie Tietz.
"For that, Biddie is the region's contact person for various things the SA Tourism Commission may do in the region," Mrs Vickery said.
Also as part of the changes, the marketing for the Limestone Coast and other regions is now centralised in Adelaide by the SA Tourism Commission.
"The marketing programs that were being run to bring visitors to this region are now all central," Mrs Vickery told the Herald.
She said a lot of this centralised marketing has focused on Kangaroo Island, and was also now being aimed at the Barossa Valley and Southern Flinders - at the expense of the outer regions.
"The SA Tourism Commission have really focused on Kangaroo Island over the past 12 months, the next 12 months they are still looking at Kangaroo Island, the Barossa Valley and Southern Flinders," she said.
"The outer regions are really looking as though they're being ignored."
Organising and printing of one of Limestone Coast Tourism's main projects - the regional visitor guide - was also taken off the group and moved to Adelaide.
The last visitor guide Limestone Coast Tourism printed was in 2010 and represented one thing the body could offer its members through discounted advertising of their businesses.
The guide also had a close contact and connection with tourism operators and attractions according to Mrs Vickery.
"Since the guide has gone to Adelaide we feel that connection has been lost," she said.
Some of the information printed in the guide now has been described as wrong or incomplete.
"Just as a really simple example at the back they've got a graph of what services are in each town and if you look at that Naracoorte doesn't have any hotels," Mrs Vickery remarked.
The first edition the SA Tourism Commission was supposed to print didn't even get off the printing press so they reprinted the old one - which came out after Christmas.
"It was very late," Mrs Vickery said. "It was less than satisfactory."
The SA Tourism Commission also withdrew funding from visitor information centres and is now only offering support to eight centres State-wide - with the only Limestone Coast centre being the Lady Nelson Visitor Information Centre in Mount Gambier.
These changes led to a situation where the Limestone Coast Tourism board decided winding up the organisation would be the only option and a special meeting was convened in Penola on October 17.
A miscommunication before that meeting gave the organisation a brief reprieve.
It was understood that the body's constitution stipulated that for the association to be wound up 75 per cent of the financial membership needed to be present and for a vote to happen.
It was only after the meeting after a call to consumer affairs that Mrs Vickery found out she had not been given the full information and the 75 per cent referred to 75 per cent of those present at the meeting needed to vote in favour of winding up.
"We understood there weren't enough people there," Mrs Vickery said.
At the November 13 meeting, to be held at Katnook Estate in Penola after a tourism industry briefing, the fate of the surplus assets the organisation has will be decided.
Under the constitution the surplus assets shall not be paid or distributed among the members of the association but shall be given or transferred to a corporation having objectives similar to the association.