The Only Way REALLY Is Essex
Tourism surge as Brits seek to experience what Essex has to offer
In the wake of the success of ITV2 series The Only Way Is Essex, the South East county has become an unlikely tourist hot spot, according to the latest figures released today by Hotels.com.
A county previously famous for white stilettos, fake tan and Denise Van Outen, Essex is currently experiencing a resurgence with tourism alone up 140% according to hotel expert Hotels.com, based on internet searches when compared with the same time last year.
TV phenomenon The Only Way Is Essex, which follows the lives of Club promoter Mark Wright and his privileged friends Kirk Norcross, Amy Childs, Lauren Goodger and Sam Faiers, has put the Essex towns of Brentwood, Chigwell and Basildon on the map since its launch last year. Home of popular night spot Sugar Hut, Brentwood has experienced a surge of 103% in hotel searches, alongside Basildon, home of Brian ‘Bas Vegas’ Belo, which has seen searches rise by 94%.
Other celebrities who are currently flying the flag for Essex include Brit award winner Jessie J, Jungle Queen Stacey Solomon, X-Factor singers Matt Cardle and Olly Murs and Dancing on Ice star Jeff Brazier.
Alison Couper, Communications Director at Hotels.com, said: “It’s great to see Essex back on the tourism map as Brits rush to visit the county currently enjoying its spot in the limelight. Not only famous for The Only Way Is Essex, the county also benefits from having the longest coastline in the country, as well as a variety of historic attractions from Audley End House, one of England's grandest stately homes to the world’s longest leisure pier in Southend-on-Sea.”
Growth in searches on Hotels.com in Essex comparing January 2010 with January 2011
Destination % increase in searches
Chelmsford up 211%
Clacton-on-Sea up 170%
Colchester up 122%
Brentwood up 103%
Basildon up 94%
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As part of the Expedia group which operates in all major markets, Hotels.com offers more than 130,000 quality hotels, B&Bs and serviced apartments worldwide. If a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com will match it. Hotels.com benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry negotiating the best rates for its customers, plus there are 1.8m reviews from users who have actually stayed in the hotels to ensure customers make an informed choice when booking. Hotels.com has recently launched its Welcome Rewards customer loyalty programme in the UK, where customers can earn a free night for every ten nights stayed (subject to Welcome Rewards terms and conditions as set out at www.hotels.com). Hotels.com won the Gold Award for best hotel booking site in Webuser magazine in February 2009. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multilingual call centres on 0871 200 0171.