Reality TV Show Increases Tourism to Essex

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on March 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Essex is a county in the eastern region of the UK. Although it’s only about 50 miles northeast of London, it hasn’t been much of a tourist draw. Until now.

According to the Daily Mail, ever since the reality show called The Only Way is Essex has been on television, tourism to the oft-ridiculed county has increased by 140%. The reality show — which regularly pulls in 1 million viewers — prominently features a local bar, the Sugar Hut, and the exploits of its owner and patrons.

The county has become somewhat of a weekend getaway and reports that searches for Chelmsford has increased by 211%, for Clacton-on-Sea by 170%, and Colchester by 122%, as compared to the same time last year. But despite the extra revenue is tourism, locals aren’t all pleased about how the show is portraying the county.

Lisa Bone, from Visit Essex, said:

The Only Way is Essex is representative of certain areas and people – but you get that in any destination. We have a great mix. We have lots of bars and beauty salons, but also a great coastline and lots of countryside.

We at NileGuide would have to concur with this. This is one of the great aspects of travel – trashing stereotypes.

[Image: Hal MacLean / Flickr]


Tags: england, reality television, The Only Way is Essex, UK

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