Spicers' Matthew Simpson
Spicers' Matthew Simpson

The General Manager of Brisbane’s Spicers Balfour Hotel has won the Young Achievers Award at the Queensland Tourism Awards.
Matthew Simpson, 29, is the youngest General Manager to join the Spicers Retreats Hotels and Lodges group, having rapidly worked his way up from the reception desk to being the general manager of a luxury hotel.
The award recognises an individual, less than 32 years of age, working in the tourism industry and their contribution to the development of a vibrant and professional tourism industry.
Simpson was appointed General Manager of the group’s flagship property Spicers Peak Lodge in 2008 at the age of 25 before taking on his new role managing Spicers Balfour Hotel in New Farm last year.
Simpson has experience in all levels of the tourism industry, from frontline reception and making beds to fine dining service, financial analysis, marketing and management.
“I’m delighted and humbled to be recognised in this way, particularly with the amount of great young talent we have in our industry,” Simpson said.
“We’ve achieved a lot with the opening of Spicers Balfour Hotel and I’m pleased to be able to accept this award on behalf of the group. The support of the entire Spicers team has been instrumental in bringing this fabulous boutique property to Brisbane.”
The awards, held on Friday at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, are recognised as the industry’s most prestigious awards program.
Spicers Group CEO Danielle Duell said that at the age of 29, Simpson had already achieved success in direct customer service, sales and business development, management, strategic marketing, property launches and most recently, opening and managing Spicers Balfour Hotel.
“Matthew has demonstrated his exceptional business acumen and his ability to develop close networks with the local community, ultimately turning a profit within Spicers Balfour Hotel’s fifth month of operation,” Duell said.
“He is a role model to all of his colleagues and employees, having worked his way up from the reception desk to being the general manager of a luxury hotel.  He is a tremendous asset to the Spicers Hotels, Retreats and Lodges family.”
Simpson studied a Bachelor of Business specialising in Hotel and Tourism management at Southern Cross University. He began his career as the front receptionist of St Giles Hotel in central London before returning to Australia to work as the reservation and events coordinator for Peppers Salt Resort and Spa and as a business development manager for Mantra Group.
Simpson was also marketing coordinator for Spicers Group and was involved in the group’s rebranding in February 2010.
In addition, Simpson was barely able to return to his seat at the awards gala before returning to the stage with his team to collect the award for Spicers Balfour Hotel as Queensland’s Best New Tourism Development.