Programmes help open lesser-known places up, says Regent product executive Michael Voss

Since the days of “A Place in the Sun” television travel programmes have taken on a very different stance, with increasingly weird and wonderful places featured where people such as Joanna Lumley, Levison Wood, Ewen McGregor and even Carl Pilkington explore the corners of the world which we at Regent Holidays consider ourselves to be experts in.

These programmes provide an incredible insight into the lesser known regions of the world, with Joanna Lumley in particular experiencing the Northern Lights in Norway and travelling along the Trans-Siberian railway from Russia to China – one of the world’s great train journeys. Following her programme, Regent Holidays saw a 700% increase in bookings along this route. There is a reason in travel we call it the “Joanne Lumley Effect”.

Michael Portillo has popped up on our screens frequently extolling the virtues of train travel throughout the world – a mode of transportation which not only appeals to our customers but is often the perfect way to see a new country at leisure – whether the heritage lines of the North Borneo Railway or the more work-a-day services in Japan and China or overnight trains in Vietnam or Central Asia.

At Regent we pride ourselves in visiting countries and areas which aren’t necessarily at the top of most peoples’ lists, but when Levison Wood visited Nagorno Karabakh, a disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan, it really piqued the interest of our clients and helped fill our Pioneering Nagorno Karabakh small group tour.

It can sometimes be slightly difficult to promote such remote and obscure countries, but the rewards are worth the effort, and the increasing coverage on television of these places can only help open these lesser-known places up – bringing new experiences to visitors and valuable custom to local businesses.