The not-for-profit body, a partnership between Plymouth City Council and local business interests, has hired the agency on a three-year contract to devise and implement a PR strategy to promote the city’s maritime history, visitor attractions and events.
The brief is to raise Plymouth’s profile as a UK destination in the build-up to the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage to North America, which will be a major event for the city in 2020.
As well as the starting point for the Mayflower, Plymouth was the launching point for prominent explorers including Captain Scott, Captain James Cook and Charles Darwin, who set sail from its harbour.
The agency will promote Plymouth’s tourism offerings with a particular focus on events taking place this summer, including the British Firework Championships, the tenth annual Flavour Fest and the Ocean City Festival.
Amanda Lumley, CEO of Destination Plymouth, said the agency’s ultimate task was to ‘put Plymouth on the map on a national scale’.
Hills Balfour PR director Kate Popham will head up the account.
Destination Plymouth was founded in 2010 with the aim of establishing an ‘Ocean City’ rebranding project.
Partnered with a number of public and private organisations, Destination Plymouth is funded by Plymouth City Council, Plymouth City Centre Company BID and Plymouth Waterfront Partnership BID.
Plymouth's tourism and leisure sector is already worth more than £200m a year, with plans under way to boost tourism spent to £315m by 2020 and generate 5,800 tourism-related jobs in the area.