Around 9.6 million Americans tuned in to watch the highly anticipated debut of ‘Modern Family’ filmed in Australia, with Qantas’s website alone recording a 25 per cent spike in US visitors in the days following the airing of the episode.
Qantas flew the cast and crew from Los Angeles in February and hosted the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan during the two-week filming that took place at iconic Australian locations such as Sydney Harbour, Bondi Beach and the Great Barrier Reef.
The US audience forms a key part of the 22.3 million strong fan base across the globe set to watch the multi-award winning sitcom visit Australia over the next few weeks. The episodes will promote Australia as a travel destination across 29 countries worldwide including The United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong and New Zealand – all key sources of visiting tourists.
Audience figures are expected to be as high as 100 million once episode re-runs and the release of the DVD are taken in to account.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the episode’s debut brings to fruition months of hard work between Twentieth Century Fox and Qantas to promote Australia to the world.
“Qantas is incredibly proud to be part of a project that showcases our country on such a large scale. It will take Australian landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the stunning Whitsunday region into lounge rooms across the globe,” said Joyce.
“This episode gives the world a glimpse of Australian hospitality and culture – which as the national carrier and the biggest private investor in Australian tourism, we are proud to help make happen.
“Modern Family rates as our most popular TV program on-board and we’re confident this vacation episode will inspire more people to take the trip down under. Given it’s also a big hit domestically, it will no doubt encourage some Australians to visit these parts of the country as well.”
Modern Family Co-creator and Executive Producer Steven Levitan said the cast and crew felt spoiled to film in a location like Australia.
“I am sure that anyone who sees this episode will fall in love with Australia and its beauty in the same way we did. The cast and crew absolutely loved their entire Aussie experience from meeting friendly locals to tasting Vegemite and coming face to face with Nemo up in the Whitsundays,” he said.
Qantas has previously supported Australian specials of the Oprah and Ellen shows, both of which produced significant results for international visitors. Ellen DeGeneres’ visit last year sparked a 22 per cent increase in inbound flights to New South Wales alone.
To help encourage increased visitation from the US, Qantas, in partnership with Tourism And Events Queensland, is offering special fares from the USA to Australia, linked to the episode. While there has already been a spike in visitation to Qantas.com off the back of the episode, a positive booking trend is expected over coming weeks as peaked visitor interest translates to flight bookings.
On the Great Barrier Reef, members of the cast and crew of Modern Family filmed at One&Only Hayman Island as part of the Australia family holiday episode.
The cast and crew also managed a little time to enjoy the private island between shooting. The exclusive preview of the One&Only Hayman Island resort comes ahead of the official opening on 1 July 2014, following a multi-million dollar transformation.
The award-winning ABC comedy series will feature the TV families enjoying the Whitsunday’s Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. The filming throughout Australia was followed by days of intense media speculation as to the movements and itineraries of the cast and plans for the show.
“We’re grateful to the folks from One&Only for their hospitality on Hayman Island,” said Steve Levitan, co-creator, and executive producer of Modern Family. “After our hectic shoot in Sydney, it was perfect to wrap things up at such an exotic, beautiful and private place. It was an experience we will always remember.”
The Australian vacation episode was the result of an exclusive partnership between Qantas Airways, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products.
“We were thrilled to welcome the members of the cast and crew of Modern Family to One&Only Hayman Island. It was fun to have Modern Family be the first guests to discover the new resort,” said Guenter Gebhard, General Manager, One&Only Hayman Island.
“The Great Barrier Reef is a natural wonder and it is the perfect programme to highlight that guests of all ages can enjoy the resort and The Reef’s spectacular beauty.”
Offering an unparalleled commitment to the finest holiday experiences on every possible level, One&Only Hayman Island will cater to the most discerning travellers. Each award-winning One&Only resort offers memorable experiences through a distinctive style and personality borne of its local culture, genuine hospitality and a vivid energy that is unrivalled.
“One&Only Hayman Island is our first resort in the Asia Pacific region and we were delighted Modern Family chose to film with us on this iconic private island. The programme will surely introduce American and international viewers alike to the Great Barrier Reef and will most certainly make a positive impact on tourism to the destination,” said Alan Leibman, CEO Kerzner International, the parent company of One&Only Resorts.
“We cater to guests from all over the world and we look forward to opening our doors in July 2014 to welcome new guests and past guests alike.”
Showcasing the natural elements of the iconic location, One&Only Hayman Island will provide a number of memorable guest experiences with reimagined accommodation, innovative culinary options, KidsOnly programme and the One&Only Spa, all with signature service throughout.