Published on : Monday, January 29, 2018
Brand USA, the destination marketing organisation for the United States, has appointed travel representation and PR consultancy Hills Balfour to act as its agency of record across Europe. Following an in-depth review process initiated by Brand USA in September 2017, Hills Balfour will represent Brand USA’s travel trade interests in France, Benelux, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, in addition to its established responsibilities representing Brand USA in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Hills Balfour will work with Brand USA in Europe to position the United States as a premier travel destination in order to increase visitation, spend and market share for the United States. As part of this effort, Hills Balfour will work collaboratively with its sister agencies on the continent to ensure that all in-market activity represents Brand USA in ways that support its strategies and mission and protects the organisation’s integrity and brand.
In Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, Hills Balfour will partner with Lieb Management who will focus on promoting the United States to the German-speaking and Dutch markets. In France, Benelux, Italy and Spain, Hills Balfour will partner with Interface Tourism Group to support Brand USA’s mission and tell the amazing stories of unique and exceptional travel experiences available in the USA.
“Europe represents the largest overseas travel region to the United States and we are confident that Hills Balfour’s European expertise in travel marketing will help us reach and welcome even more visitors from Europe in the years to come,” says Christopher L. Thompson, Brand USA President and CEO. “We look forward to extending our footprint with Hills Balfour in order to build upon our strong presence and relationships in-market to promote travel to the United States to, through, and beyond the gateways.”
Amanda Hills, Hills Balfour CEO, says “I am extremely proud that Hills Balfour has been selected to represent Brand USA’s interests across Europe. Hills Balfour works with the best in the business and we are excited to have the opportunity, in partnership with our sister agencies across Europe, to continue to support Brand USA’s mission. As market leaders on the continent, our innovative approach to travel marketing will help enhance the image of the USA in Europe and bring a wealth of new opportunities to partners.”
Ralf Lieb, CEO of Lieb Management, adds “The United States offers travellers some of the most diverse travel experiences of any destination in the world and I am thrilled that Lieb Management has been selected to represent Brand USA in the German-speaking countries and the Netherlands.”
Hills Balfour’s Samuel Hancock will act as European Strategic Director within the agency. As an extension of the Brand USA team, Samuel will be responsible for the development and execution of a pan-European strategy focused on driving visitation and revenue to the United States. The role will ensure that a strategic plan for effectuating Brand USA’s goals in market are developed and successfully implemented. During his seven years at Hills Balfour, Samuel has spearheaded the marketing efforts for a number of U.S. destination clients, including Choose Chicago, Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, Discover The Palm Beaches, Visit Dallas and Visit North Carolina.
Samuel will be supported by Lieb Management’s Florian Renner, Brand USA’s Strategic Director dedicated to the development of the German-speaking and Dutch markets. Previously, Florian worked for the Visit USA Committee Germany for a total of eight years, four of them as General Manager. He has been part of the Lieb Management team since January 2017 and most recently, oversaw the VISIT FLORIDA account. In the Netherlands, Florian will be assisted by Nicole Conrad, who worked has worked previously for Air Transat as Commercial Director Central Europe. Nicole has been charge of the Dutch market for Lieb Management since 2017.