There’s no question that Prince Edward Island left quite an impression with TV personality Kelly Ripa.
The host of Live! with Kelly recently told Up Magazine that P.E.I. is her favourite destination when it comes to family getaways.
“Prince Edward Island has stayed with me,’’ Ripa told the magazine.
Ripa travelled to P.E.I. in July 2010 for four episodes of what was then Live! With Regis and Kelly.
Now, it’s one thing for people to say nice things about places when they are there but it’s quite another for someone to bring it up later, totally unprovoked.
The magazine simply asked Ripa if she could only pick one destination to take her family to, where would she go?
“It’s left its mark on me. I think about it, I dream about it,’’ she tells the magazine. “I remember seeing my children happier there than they’ve ever been. We did amazing things but we did the real things that matter in life: we took walks, the kids played in the ocean.
“We did things that didn’t require gadgets and equipment. Because we are raising our kids in New York City, we love the wilderness and I think children need that. We like to bring them to unspoiled places.’’
Her comments were the talk of social media, giving P.E.I. a bit more exposure after the provincial government spent $800,000 to bring the morning talk show to Charlottetown.
Tourism Minister Robert Henderson said the province has received good value for its money.
“We made an investment, took a chance,’’ Henderson said.
“The comments she and others have made afterwards and now they’re continuing to do that just puts Prince Edward Island a little more in the destination spotlight as a place for people (to visit).’’
The show broadcasted from Confederation Landing Park for four days in July 2010. Part of the show involved Ripa and the now-retired Regis Philbin visiting different locales around the Island.
It’s estimated that had government purchased four hours of advertising and broadcast advertisements in areas where the show is viewed, it would have cost $28 million.
At the very least, the hope was that people would become familiar with where P.E.I. is.
Henderson said the province estimates the economic impact the exposure gave the show was around $5 million. In fact, the province’s tourism website crashed soon with people logging on out of curiosity after the shows aired.
“The exposure that the Regis and Kelly show gave us was kind of a once-n-a-lifetime opportunity.’’
Needless to say, the province would be open to teaming up Ripa again.
“I would certainly say if contact can be made and Kelly was interested we’d certainly like to build on this a little. At least we know she’s receptive to saying good things about the province of P.E.I.’’