Saturday, 17 March 2012

Travel Alberta. Live with Kelly Ripa to be broadcast from Banff

Photo courtesy of Banff Lake Louise Tourism
Next month, TV host Kelly Ripa will come to Alberta's Banff National Park to film four episodes of her popular Live! with Kelly talk show.

While Ripa says she's excited to visit Alberta's spectacular Rocky Mountain resort getaway, a place where she and husband Mark Consuelos will enjoy a "second honeymoon," it's easy to imagine that the $1.5 million Travel Alberta ponied up to seal the deal didn't hurt either.

As CTV reports, the government's tourism outfit said the publicity generated from Ripa's audience of 3.6 million should pay for the investment in spades.

"It's broadcast in the United States, which is Alberta's most important marketplace. We get about 810,000 visitors every year from the U.S., they spend over $560 million each year, so this is an absolute perfect opportunity for us to showcase Alberta," Travel Alberta CEO Bruce Okabe told the Canadian Press.

Besides, as Okabe pointed out, about half the amount came from the corporate partners.

"The $1.5 million is not cash coming out of Travel Alberta's pocket," he said in the same interview.

"We have syndicated a whole lot of that investment in cash and in kind to several partners, including Air Canada, who is going to be offering up flights for cast, crew and celebrities, Brewster Transportation, the Fairmont Hotel," he added, explaining that the partnerships would offset at least half the original price tag.

Around $800,000 will come from Travel Alberta's coffers, a cost Okabe said would be made up by the $22 million Ripa's four-day episode arc is projected to bring in over time.

Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation spokesperson Erin Larson told CTV the Travel Alberta funding will come from the four per cent tourism levy charged to visitors who stay in the province's hotels. She said an economic impact study would be put in motion to ensure the money spent on the show was put to good use.

Meanwhile, Ben Mulroney has been tapped to appear alongside Ripa on one episode of the show. In anticipation of his April 5 appearance, Ripa released a statement giving high praise to her future co-host.

"[Ben is] a great friend of our show and he's been terrific to us throughout the years," said Ripa in a news release. "He's a great broadcaster and a funny guy and we like that here. He's a wonderful ambassador for Canada."

Live! with Kelly will be broadcast between April 2-5 from the city's Banff Centre.

Travel news story courtesy of:
Jordana Divon
Daily Brew - Yahoo