By Eloise Horsfield
FOR many it was painful to watch – but The Only Way of Essex’s Marbella special has triggered a promising surge in holiday bookings.
Tour operator Lowcostholidays.com reported an enormous 1,942 per cent increase in searches for trips to Marbella during ITV’s one-hour transmission of The Only Way is Marbs on June 13.
And since then, bookings are up by 166 per cent.
The show did not fail to impress it fans, with sun, sand and bare flesh aplenty – and even a marriage proposal.
Mario Falcone popped the big question to Lucy Mecklenburgh on a yacht peppered with roses – obviously having forgiven her for cheating on him with Mark Wright during last year’s Marbella trip.
“Like it or loathe it, TOWIE has led to a massive increase in stag and hen dos in Marbella,” said Giles Brown, editor of Marbella’s Hot magazine.
“Although the funny thing is, you often see tourists dressed up to the nines tottering around the fishing port, looking bewildered after mistaking it for the glamour of Puerto Banus,” he added.