Tourism promotion for Queensland will be more closely aligned with Tourism Australia’s activities in the UK through a new partnership.

The deal by Tourism and Events Queensland to deliver marketing and trade activities comes as the spotlight falls on the jungle of tropical north Queensland with the start of the latest series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here on Sunday.

Agency representation services for Tourism and Events Queensland by PR firm Hills Balfour will end on December 31 after 12 years with the new partnership starting on January 1.

The new partnership highlights the importance of the UK to the state’s tourism industry.

UK visitors from to Queensland grew by 2.1% in the last financial year to 232,000 with spend of A$399.3 million.

The state’s equal third largest visitor market, UK visitors spent an average of 21 nights in Queensland over the same period.

Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington said: “TEQ is committed to working with Tourism Australia and our key trade and industry partners to continue to maximise inbound opportunities for Queensland tourism.

“We have an established strong and positive relationship and this is a fantastic opportunity to leverage off each other, amplify Queensland experiences and play to our strengths.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank Hills Balfour for representing us so well for over a decade.”

Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan added: “Together, Tourism Australia and Tourism Events Queensland have a successful track record of working to grow the tourism opportunity for Australia, and we welcome this closer collaboration in the UK, one of our longest standing and most significant tourism markets.

“We look forward to bolstering our collective marketing efforts, educating consumers and the travel trade on the benefits of choosing Queensland and Australia over other destinations in an increasingly competitive global travel market.”

Amanda Hills, president of Hills Balfour, said: “It has been such an honour to work together with Tourism Events Queensland for the last 12 years, and to have produced some remarkable and unprecedented work on their behalf during that time.

“Our in-depth knowledge of the Queensland and wider Australian product is unrivalled within the industry, and we would be delighted to collaborate on future activity within the Australian market across our global service offering as a company.”