Thistle signs agency for overseas drive

Thistle Hotels has appointed a second external agency and intends contracting up to three as it looks to drive its C&I business. The chain, which operates Thistle and Guoman Hotels, has hired Connect-Worldwide International in an effort to boost the MICE profile for its 49 UK properties overseas. Thistle sales and marketing director Stuart Leven said the company had “invested millions of pounds” in Connect-Worldwide’s two-year contract to represent the group in 11 markets across America, Asia and Europe. Leven added that Thistle was likely to appoint a further two to three sales agencies to expand its coverage in Australasia, Asia and Europe taking its international sales force from six to 70 once the appointments were made. “The first thing they will be doing is individually targeting the key conference and incentive agencies within the territories to promote our products and services and to go out and secure individual pieces of business,” said Leven. The agency will also be targeting trade shows, with Thistle stands, sponsorship or placement of keynote speakers. Another sales agency, Travel Boutique, has been working in India over the past year for Thistle Hotels and its contract has been extended a further two years.

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