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Palin a Positive for Alaska Tourism

Sarah and Todd Palin sea kayaking

Sarah Palin’s Alaska debuted with 4.96 million viewers, making it the most watched premiere in TLC’s history.

Besides the benefits for the TLC network and Sarah Palin (the New York Times says some are calling the show a “campaign ad” for a possible 2012 run for President), the state of Alaska could be benefiting.

Kathy Dunn, director of consumer marketing for the Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA), told MSNBC.com that there was a four percent increase in people expressing interest in Alaska during Palin’s 2008 vice presidential run. Palin’s celebrity has also rubbed off on Wasilla with tourists lining up to get their picture snapped with the town sign and buying souvenirs.

“Our marketing budget and marketing components were roughly the same as the prior year, so we attribute much of that interest to the fact that Gov. Palin was putting Alaska in the national spotlight,” Dunn says in the story.

Viewers can take part in the activities featured on the show, so producers plan to use the series’ website to promote them and there will be info on Alaska’s official tourism site.

[Image via TLC website.]

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