Here’s Why Spain Should Really Be Thanking ‘Game Of Thrones’

Winter may be coming on Game of Thrones but it’s the tourists that are flocking to Osuna, Spain. The area is one of the filming locations for Season 5 of HBO’s fantasy series and besides being host to some of the show’s star-studded cast, the region is also experiencing a boom in tourism thanks to George R.R. Martin’s books.

U.S. ambassador to Spain James Costos — who just so happens to be a former HBO exec — said the country’s tourism rate is expected to rise by 15 percent thanks shooting. According to Time, more than 500 locals have been hired as extras on the show after 86,000 people sent in applications and showed up for auditions for the show. Stars like Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Toby Sebastian have had to fend off hordes of fans while not on set and Costos says the embassy has been barraged with calls from producers looking to film in the country after Game of Thrones announced its own shooting location.