Melbourne and Malaysia in tourism drives

The Australian state of Victoria has called in fresh PR support for the first time in almost a decade in a bid to lure more visitors to the state capital Melbourne.

Tourism Victoria has handed BGB Communications a two-year account ending in July 2011. The agency won the brief following a pitch in which eight-year incumbent The Saltmarsh Partnership also took part. BGB will promote Melbourne through upcoming events including the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and the Melbourne International Arts Festival in October, and The Melbourne Cup in November.

It will also seek to maximise coverage around singer Lily Allen's appearance on Melbourne-based soap opera Neighbours in November.

Separately, Tourism Malaysia is reviewing its global agency support in a bid to attract more British visitors. In the UK, it is looking for an agency to position Malaysia as a 'prime tourist destination'.

Hills Balfour Synergy has held the UK account for two years and intends to repitch.

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