Cheshire hires ex-Marketing Manchester director

Destination management organisation, Marketing Cheshire, which markets to investors, visitors, students and residents, has appointed Rachel McQueen as its new director of tourism.

McQueen, formerly Rachel Combie, joined the organisation from Hemisphere Design & Marketing Consultants where she led major branding projects including the development and implementation of the identity for Manchester’s European City of Science in 2016, and a tone-of-voice strategy for Transport for Greater Manchester.

Prior to that she was director of marketing and deputy chief executive of Marketing Manchester where she led campaigns ranging from the city’s involvement in the FA’s bid for England to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022, and the ‘I Love MCR’ campaign developed in response to the riots in August 2011.

McQueen said: “With real economic uncertainty over the next few years, it is more critical than ever to focus collaborative efforts on showcasing the strengths of Chester and Cheshire. The commitment of partners to the recruitment of this post is testament to their belief in the value of tourism, and I very much look forward to working with them to maximise the benefits of the visitor economy to the region.”

The post McQueen takes at Marketing Cheshire will be jointly funded by Chester Zoo and Chester Racecourse, and is part of the drive to raise the profile of Chester as a visitor destination and ensure the area capitalises on the opportunities brought about by Brexit such as the growth of domestic tourism and the opportunity to target new markets in international tourism.

Clive Sykes, chairman of Marketing Cheshire, said: “Rachel’s appointment is a significant development for Marketing Cheshire that that will support our aim to raise the profile of Chester and Cheshire. The experience she brings from Manchester during her time with Marketing Manchester, and more recently at Hemisphere, will be invaluable as we work to put Cheshire on the map as a national and international visitor and business location.”

Jamie Christon, chief executive of Chester Zoo, added: “Chester Zoo is committed to working towards establishing a single city strategy to develop tourism and, as the most visited attraction outside London, supporting Rachel’s appointment is a key part of that.”

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