Celebrities on travel shows ‘fuel sales’

Celebrities on travel shows ‘fuel sales’

A growing trend for travel companies and destinations to align themselves with celebrity-hosted TV shows is helping boost sales for the trade.

Uniworld reported a surge of almost 1,000 enquiries and 40,000 web hits after appearing on Channel 5’s Cruising with Jane McDonald on Friday, prompting the line to open its call centre on a Sunday for the first time.

Managing director Kathryn Beadle said: “We knew the show was going to be huge, but the level of interest has exceeded all expectations.

“I’ve been contacted by many agents who have said that watching Cruising with Jane McDonald has given them a much clearer understanding of the product, and that they will be now looking to sell rivers for the first time.”

Travel Counsellors’ Sam Peters said she received two customer enquiries about Uniworld within a few hours of the show airing.

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida this week announced it will host a live episode of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway in April following the success of the show’s season finale last year with P&O Cruises.

Wendy Wu Tours also reported a “huge increase” in web searches and interest in its Japan itineraries following the airing of ITV’s Joanna Lumley’s Japan last year.

Marketing director Ben Briggs said: “There seems to be a trend towards TV dramas and documentaries set in faraway locations, often with the backing of tourist boards with the intention of driving visitor numbers,” he said.

“These ‘travelogue’ shows now seem to have a real impact on people’s holiday buying decisions.”

Cruise.co.uk consultant Claire Holmes said the company also saw a spike in enquiries after promoting an itinerary featuring Japanese macaques (monkeys).

“These programmes are great for the industry and give us the chance to take advantage of social media and engage customers in conversations about their favourite programmes,” she added.

Win trip to Ant & Dec show at Walt Disney World

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