The reality TV trend continues to rise in popularity, and hotel and resort destinations are tuning in, discovering increasing prospects for notoriety to a million-plus audience in a single episode aired of shows such as The Bachelor, Survivor, and The Real World.
“As reality TV becomes more established as a genre, with some shows on air for more than a decade, there’s increased pressure for them to find new and ever more exotic filming locations for that pivotal wedding proposal, tug-of-war contest or rowdy night out,” says a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. Reality shows are “‘stretching’ to find new locations to entice viewers,” the article adds.
Recent destination spots include the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, the setting for the final episodes of the most recent season of The Bachelor. In exchange for perks such as complimentary accommodations, the reality show highlighted several shots and mentions of the island. The “shows’ tight budgets are requiring them to snare as much free stuff as they can,” The Journal article adds.
Although challenges like filming and unruly cast members may arise, the pluses of being on-air may outweigh the negative for hotel/resorts and their surrounding settings. According to sources from The Journal’s article, hotels and destinations are mostly satisfied with the results of their investment. Hits to Saint Lucia’s tourism website skyrocketed about 2,000% for weeks following The Bachelor finale, and exit visitor surveys note that some visitors learned of the Caribbean island because they were viewers of the show. Also, an appearance on a reality show tends to have a “much lower price tag” than traditional advertising, The Journal article says.
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