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Online videos helping to bring best visitor numbers in a decade

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VIRAL online videos are helping Jersey attract its highest number of tourists for about a decade, a Visit Jersey executive has said.

Stephen Winstanley and Finlay Wilson – aka YouTube sensations Kilt Yoga – were brought to Jersey to film in various locations around the Island. Their efforts have garnered 545,000 views in two months

After being online for only five days, the agency’s two-and-half-minute clip featuring a remade up-to-date version of the Bergerac theme tune received nearly 300,000 views.

And another clip showing viral YouTube sensation, Kilted Yoga, performing at several beauty spots around the Island, has been watched 545,000 times in just two months.

Adam Caerlewy-Smith, head of marketing for Visit Jersey, said producing online video content had enabled them to make better use of taxpayers’ money.

‘We moved away from TV advertising in 2016 and that has worked really well for us and allowed us to use taxpayers’ money in a much more effective way,’ he said.

‘We still connect with the right people, at the right time and in the right places. There is a misconception that the older generation do not use digital channels when they do.’

Last year, 413,000 visitors came to Jersey for a holiday – the best figure recorded for about a decade.

Overall, including business visitors and people travelling to the Island to visit family, a total of 727,000 individuals visited Jersey in 2017.

Mr Caerlewy-Smith added that a previous decline in the Island’s tourism industry had led them to make the change to online advertising.

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‘We had previously gone through two decades of decline [in visitor numbers] and by moving online it has allowed us to deliver real results. In the last three to four years we have seen a course of consecutive growth,’ he said.

‘Also, with TV advertising, each time we develop a new campaign we essentially start from scratch but with online we can build on what we have already done.

‘Online also provides us with statistics and analytics which allow us to learn more about our audience and tweak the campaign on a regular basis to give it an extended reach.’

Last week, Visit Jersey released a video featuring multi-instrumentalist Youngr performing a remastered take of the Bergerac theme tune at a number of locations around the Island, including Mont Orgeuil, Beauport beach and Plémont.

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Explaining why the video was made, Mr Caerlewy-Smith said that it had allowed Visit Jersey to target the millions of original viewers – now aged around 55 and above – of the hit TV show, along with their children, who fell into the 30 to 45-year-old age bracket.

‘For me, it brought up some very nostalgic feelings of playing in the garden at home while my parents were inside watching the show – I can still remember hearing the theme tune,’ he said.

‘It is a good way of reconnecting viewers with those memories and also showing them what Jersey is like now.’

Meanwhile, a video released by Seymour Hotels, showing aerial drone footage from around the Island, has gathered 100,000 views.

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