TV show reveals region to millions

CHLOE WINTER
Last updated 11:07 21/05/2014
RV Rampage
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RV RAMPAGE: Contestants in the Marlborough Sounds during filming last year for the new series.

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Destination Marlborough can finally pop the lid on news that the region will be screened to a potential global audience of 200 million next month, after being "hush-hush" since last year.

Marlborough is one of 10 regions throughout the country that Travel Channel's film crew visited as part of its RV Rampage series, which begins screening tomorrow.

Marlborough will appear in episode six, on Thursday, June 26.

Destination Marlborough marketing communications manager Jason Henry said filming began last year, and it was kept very quiet until now.

"It was pretty hush-hush. This happens from time to time because their screening schedules haven't been confirmed or because they won't confirm it until they are ready," Henry said.

It was great for the region and put Marlborough "on the map".

"There will be up to 200 million viewers worldwide - that is something money can't buy."

It had to be good for Marlborough, he said. "Being a part of a TV series is a pretty big step."

In the series, five teams of two travel from Auckland to Queenstown in three motorhomes.

Along the way, the teams must undertake challenges designed to immerse them in the culture and lifestyle of New Zealand and "rampage challenges" to test them mentally and physically.

Their travels through Marlborough took them from the Interislander dock in Picton, to Blenheim and then on to Yealands Estate, Henry said.

Tourism New Zealand secured filming after hosting the producers and pitching areas of New Zealand to the crew, he said. Destination Marlborough helped with pitching the region.

"It's a result of months of hard work by both of us."

It was not unusual to have TV crews come through the region, he said. Sixteen international writers and editors would have visited Marlborough this month.

"It's great. It's just non-stop.

"Some are here following the footsteps of the royals and doing the activities the royals did and some are here for other activities like getting out in the Sounds, others are here for the Hobbit and some are here for the wine story."

RV Rampage will be screening in 130 countries.

chloe.winter@mex.co.nz

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