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Primetime TV show sees surge of interest from potential visitors to islands

More than a million viewers tuned in to watch Channel 5’s new series, Jersey and Guernsey, which aired for the first-time last week.

23 June 2023

The new six-part TV series, narrated by Alan Titchmarsh, celebrates the quirks and charms of the Channel Islands. Episode 1, which aired last Thursday (15th June), was the highest rated programme on Channel 5 that night, peaking at just under 1.2 million viewers.

The Bailiwick is already seeing the potential benefits, with this week’s episode resulting in a spike in traffic to the VisitGuernsey website, which saw a 260% increase on Wednesday (21st) evening compared to the same day the week before. This followed a similar jump in web traffic during the first episode - something mirrored by the travel trade.

Rebecca Larsson, Marketing and Development Manager, C. I. Travel Group, said since the launch of Channel 5’s ‘Jersey & Guernsey’, the team at GuernseyTravel.com had seen increased interest in holidays to the islands of Guernsey.

‘We’re looking forward to welcoming new and repeat visitors to the islands who’ve been inspired by the show and are delighted to see the true beauty and big personality of our small islands so well represented on screen and look forward to watching the remainder of the series.’

This was echoed by Nicky Shafe-Partner, Product Development Manager at Prestige Travel, who said they had seen and an 100% increase in bookings since the programme started, which was great news.

‘It is mostly for late bookings this summer, which is even better as there is still availability. You can certainly see the appeal of these stunning islands, the programme showcases them so well and they are narrated beautifully.’

Mark Godfrey, Director, Premier Holidays, said the search term for “Guernsey Holiday” had seen an increase of 125% last week, based on the previous week.

‘It is fantastic and showcases the beauty of the islands perfectly. We’ve been riding off the back of it with digital activity and will be holding some Channel Island instore days with trade partners over the next couple of weeks. We are also putting together some Jersey & Guernsey twin centre holidays to promote.

‘Since the first episode last week, we’ve seen a 70% increase in brochure requests and 25% increase in web traffic. Most importantly we’ve seen a 20% increase in bookings made to Guernsey and expect to see this continue.’

The team at VisitGuernsey spent several months working closely with the production crew, who were on island for eight weeks, on content, logistics, scheduling and introducing them to some of our islands' most colourful characters. Working with other teams across the States of Guernsey, VisitGuernsey provided behind the scenes access to many areas for the film crew to capture the essence of our islands.

In addition to the marketing activity already in place for 2023, VisitGuernsey is looking to capitalise on this opportunity, via tailored and targeted digital and social media activity and dedicated consumer mailers as well as working with trade and carriers to ensure there is a clear follow up message, with a call to action to book now.

Mary Putra, States of Guernsey Director of Marketing and Communications, said:

‘This is a fantastic opportunity that has cost us nothing more than the time and expertise of the VisitGuernsey team. The new series captures not only the charm of the islands but puts us in front of a new audience of more than a million people a week. It’s now our job to work with the industry to make sure we collectively capitalise on this and translate this interest into bookings – for this year and looking ahead to 2024.’

The series continues, each Wednesday, at 8pm.

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