Hills Balfour fends off four agencies to win travel account for New York City

Hills Balfour has beaten stiff competition to win one of the most prestigious travel accounts in the market, New York City.

New York City appoints Hills Balfour
New York City appoints Hills Balfour

NYC & Company, the marketing, tourism and partnership organisation for New York City, re-appointed the agency after a two-stage pitch process with five agencies. The agency had previously held the account for ten years.

The new four-year account includes PR, representation, consumer marketing, events and high profile partnership campaigns.

The agency will attempt to position New York City as the gateway destination for every visit to the US. ‘We will also strive to raise awareness of the unique offerings in the City’s four boroughs outside Manhattan – Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island,’ added Hills Balfour founder and CEO Amanda Hills.

The agency has assigned three dedicated senior staff to spend 100 per cent of their time on the account. Director Robert Wilson will manage leisure sales and marketing and trade activity, manager Paul Black will handle the MICE market and account director Kate Popham will work on consumer, trade and MICE PR.

NYC & Company’s chief communications officer Kimberly Spell said the UK comprises the highest number of international visitors to New York City. The company is expecting more than 1.1 million people to visit the city by the end of 2011, which represents $1.5 billion in spending power. ‘NYC & Company’s communications and tourism marketing representation in the UK are crucial to our mandate to achieve 50 million visitors by 2012,’ said Spell.

The news comes as the US’s new tourism-promotion body, The Corporation for Travel Promotion, launches its new website. The body, which is mainly funded by the new visitor entry fee, has also appointed NYC & Company’s CEO George Fertitta to the board. The US Travel Association believes this new body and its new promotional activity will generate four billion US dollars in new visitor spending and create up to 40,000 new jobs annually. It is the US’s first national travel promotion programme.

[Picture credit: Jen Davies / NYCgo.com]

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