Queensland picks Hills Balfour

Tourism Queensland has overhauled its operations in the UK by outsourcing to Hills Balfour Synergy, bringing it into line with other European markets. The move sees the existing two-person in-house team replaced by an eight-strong team at the representation company, consisting of four marketing and four PR personnel. Hills Balfour Synergy will report directly to international operations director Anthony Hayes in Queensland. Hills Balfour Synergy is currently seeking a new regional director for Queensland, and in the meantime managing director Amanda Hills is acting in the position. The agency’s new remit covers the Ireland and Nordic regions as well as the UK. Hills Balfour Synergy already works for the state in other parts of Europe including Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands. Hills Balfour director Jonathan Sloan said the agency was currently reviewing how much of the total budget would be allocated to MICE. “Queenland is not really a conference market, but we are targeting upmarket exclusive groups.” The agency is extending its Queensland on Tour roadshow to the UK, which will visit London and Manchester as well as Dublin and the Nordic regions. Twenty top suppliers will target tour operators and the MICE sector. Queensland’s UK website, Queenslandholidays.co.uk will also be overhauled in the next 18 months, with more MICE content, with special trade areas including sample itineraries, contacts for trade partners, logos, images and footage. MICE specific fam trips are being lined up for the medium term, said Sloan, and MICE players may feature in pre- and post-event fam trips around next May’s Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), which is being held in Queensland. In a statement, Tourism Minister Margaret Keech said the move would create a single voice across Europe and reduce operational costs to channel the savings back into marketing initiatives.

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