When the days are getting shorter, the tv shows become more exciting. Especially during the winter season tv producers are focussed on sending real ‘tears jerkers’ and ‘dream away’ images into the (Dutch) living rooms. TV shows ‘to stay at home for’ are not of this era anymore – we live the ‘on demand life’ – but… the broadcastings in November and December are coming close to those old school ‘stay at home’ episodes. And… 9 out of 10, there is always a destination playing one of the main ‘characters’.

Families and lovers from all over the world meet just before Christmas (All you need is Love), game shows starring famous Dutch faces showcase images of deserted bounty islands (Expeditie Robinson) or unique travel experiences abroad (Wie is de Mol?). All these shows are being shot at the most wonderful dream locations in the world: bucket list worthy destinations.

A couple of years ago the Dominican Republic hosted ‘Wie is de Mol’ and although the destination was just the ‘decor’ in this popular game show, they were able to broadcast their most beautiful parts and highlights. And it payed off. When we spoke to the tourist board members during the Vakantiebeurs the year after, they already saw an increase of visitors coming from the Netherlands.

Ask yourself, how many times have you been watching one of the big shows and thought ‘wow, it would be great to travel there someday’. Actually, I do it all the time. 24Kitchen chefs cooking their winter dishes in Iceland: I want to go there and taste the local specialties myself. Watching Rene Pluijm traveling to Slovenia and discovering local culinary pearls: I want to taste that nice glass of orange Slovenian wine myself. Watching Robert ten Brink reuniting lovers in a cosy mountain cabin in the Norwegian snow: I want to grab my gear and feel the chilly wind kissing my cheaks while swooshing my ski’s through the powder… And even the images of ‘slow tv’ Rail Away make me feel like wanting to catch a train and discover France in the most relaxing way I have ever seen (okay, the voice over plays an important role in my “relaxing mood”). It is the way it works, consciously or subconsciously.

Most of the times, starring a tv show at a ‘featuring’ destination is quite expensive. But the results and turnover are interesting. So why not allocating a budget meant for advertisement and online bannering to spend on a tv show? Or on one of the new online ‘tv shows’ that are becoming more and more popular? What do you think? Would it be worth it? Is tv still a strong tool when it comes to destination PR? I believe so. Since traveling is all about experiences nowadays, what way better to show this experience than by showcasing images on tv? In whatever format it will be.