It's almost impossible for hotels and resorts to beat the organic reach of TV appearances, but time on screen is a more lottery than strategy.
The Bachelor has, for 12 years, succeeded in getting wives and girlfriends to look at their partners with disapproving eyes as they compare their romantic moments to the million-dollar affairs aired at the end of each tear-soaked drama-filled season.
But we’ve found that at least some of those viewers succeed in recreating the manufactured magic they watch on prime time. Resorts featured in each season’s finale report jumps in occupancy and visitor inquiries after the show’s airing.
Each of 18 Bachelor and 10 Bachelorette seasons end, or are at least supposed to end, with a proposal at one of the most luxurious resorts in the world. The highly anticipated and viewed episodes then serve as an extended commercial for the resorts chosen to host the event.
Hilton Bora Bora Nui reported a 55 percent increase in occupancy the year after Ali Fedotowsky choose Roberto Martinez in season 6 of The Bachelorette.
South African Tourism said that its website was the busiest it had ever been after starring in the 11th season Bachelor finale.
And the Grand Hotel Zermathoff recorded twice the number of North American guests in the year following season 16’s proposal between Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson.
The last episode is always the most watched of the season giving resorts and destinations the opportunity to make their case for a romantic getaway in front of millions of love-struck viewers.
The latest finale, which aired March 10 and featured bachelor Juan Pablo, brought in 10.1 million viewers. The season 13 finale with Sean Lowe, a considerably more well-liked star, brought in 10.4 million viewers.
If resorts starring in the season finale have only one thing to lament, it’s that the “After the Final Rose” episode is taped on a studio set instead of a beach resort. These specials drew 10.97 million and 10.8 million viewers during the last two seasons.
Reaching the Right Viewer
An appearance on the show reaps such significant returns because it reaches an influential demographic that’s slipping through the fingers of brands that rely solely on traditional marketing.
Half of the show’s viewers are females between the ages of 18 and 44 years old, according to Bob Frohoff, vice president of media planning research at travel marketing firm MMGY.
“The real genius of this is that it’s hard to reach that audience with traditional marketing. If you can get the marketing message fully integrated into the programming, that’s the home run,” explains Frohoff.
The audience also skews higher than the average household income.
“It really plays right into that sweet spot of upscale women,” said John Saade, the executive vice president for alternative programs at ABC told New York Times before the 2013 finale.
Picking the Perfect Spot
The Bachelor producers are well aware of the impact their decision has on hopeful destinations and resorts. They choose the spot based on three main items: stunning visuals, romantic settings and top-notch accommodations.
“Choosing the romantic finale location for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is always an exciting prospect,” says Peter Scalettar, the show’s co-executive producer who estimates the media value of a finale appearance between $20 million and $100 million.
“We like to work closely with tourism partners, as well as specific hotel or airline partners, as our finale episodes are a great way to truly showcase all that the destinations have to offer.”
Click through the slideshow above to read more about the impact the Bachelor and Bachelorette have had on resorts and destinations.
Photo credit: A cliff edge of the Terranea Resort where TV-formed couple Jason Mesnick and Molley Malaney tie the knot. This was the first official union to result from the show. Terranea Resort