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Spain travel show to feature Gwyneth Paltrow

Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow is set to add another string to her bow - this time as a travel presenter.

The star, who "fell in love" with Spain as a youngster, will tour the Mediterranean country on an extended Spanish holiday accompanied by a chef, food columnist and singer-actress who plan to show the rest of the world "a showcase of Spain as it has never been seen before".

Although each of the group will not be informed which region they are travelling to next, Ms Paltrow is fluent in Spanish, suggesting she will have no problem integrating herself into the country's beautiful sights and exciting culture.

The show is entitled Spain…on the road Again and will attempt to fulfil a simple premise of the male travellers looking for food and wine and the women looking for shops other leisurely pursuits.

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Prado to offer free entry

Spain has yet another reason that justifies a visit with the news that the world famous Prado museum in Madrid is to offer free entry for two hours every day.

The free opening arrangements are part of a scheme of changes to coincide with the opening of a new annex for the gallery.

King Juan Carlos and prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will open the annex on October 30th.

Entry to the museum will be free of charge between October 31st and November 4th.

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New technology to boost security on holiday flights

Flights to Spain and destinations worldwide are set to get even more secure with new X-ray technology to be introduced into Britain's major airports.

In a move announced this week, BAA is to replace its existing security technology with a new £20 million system capable of detecting liquids and explosives in hand luggage.

BAA hopes that the new equipment will improve airport security to such an extent that ministers may remove current regulations limiting hand baggage to just one item per passenger.

Mark Bullock, managing director of BAA Heathrow said that "the signs are encouraging".

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Spain among older travellers' favourite destinations

Spain is the second best-loved destination for a holiday among older tourists, a new survey has found.

A report into the favourite European holiday destinations among the over-55s has shown that Spain was still highly rated as a holiday hot spot for the older generation.

The study of 2,000 UK adults, conducted by Saga Holidays, found that Italy came top of the list among the over-55s, followed closely by Spain. France was next, cited by respondents as the third most popular place to go on holiday.

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Environmental damage from flights to Spain 'exaggerated'

Damage to the environment caused by the growing number of flights to Spain and destinations worldwide has been "exaggerated," according to the European Regions Airline (ERA) association.

Passengers heading out to take luxury holidays in popular destination such as Spain should be able to make an informed choice about what sort of transport they take, with the freedom to use air travel where necessary, an ERA spokesperson said.

"Our view is that ultimately the consumer should be able to decide which mode [of transport] he takes..

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Brits support environmental taxes on flights to Spain

As many as a third of UK holidaymakers would support proposed new "green" taxes on flights to Spain and other popular holiday destinations, if the money raised were spent on addressing environmental problems, a new survey suggests.

One in three British travellers would rather offset the carbon emissions caused by flights to Spain, rather than cut down on their holidays, according to a report commissioned by Hyder Consulting.

Even more said they would flat-out refuse to give up their golf holiday abroad or family holiday in Spain, with 59 per cent saying they would never consider switching to a UK holiday just to reduce their carbon footprint.

"It would appear that while many more adults are aware of the environmental damage that air travel can do, and are willing to pay to offset the damage created by flights, they are not prepared to stop flying or give up the travel opportunities that this form of transport offers," said Chris Evans, head of environmental solutions at Hyder Consulting.

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Spanish holidaymakers better insured than ever

More holidaymakers than ever before are taking out travel insurance, a new report has shown, meaning that visitors taking holidays in Spain are better protected and more secure.

Datamonitor, a market analyst, says that with more Britons taking ever more holidays each year, the value of the travel insurance market in the UK had grown to a value of £709 million by 2006 - and could be worth as much as £838 million by 2011.

"The UK travel insurance market continues to benefit from the desire of the British public to travel abroad," commented Andrew Haslip, the author of the report.

According to Datamonitor, the growth in the travel insurance market has been caused by a trend for people to take trips additional trips abroad, on top of their traditional summer holidays.

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Car hire discounts offered for golf holidays in Spain

Holiday car hire company CarDelMar is offering its customers a special deal this autumn with a promotion designed to make golfing holidays in Spain even easier and more enjoyable.

Golf enthusiasts and holidaymakers visiting Spain can get a ten per cent discount on all car hire costs on rentals of seven days or more before November 30th 2007.

The special promotion promises to make getting around the best golf courses in Spain even simpler. It applies to all holidaymakers renting any type of car from CarDelMar in Spain, California, Florida and Mallorca this autumn.

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USA reaches the Davis Cup Final

The USA were propelled into the final of the Davis Cup on Sunday, as Andy Roddick beat Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman in straight sets in the semi-final of the premier team event in men's tennis.

With a series of 16 aces over the course of the match, American fifth seed Roddick beat doubles specialist Bjorkman 6-2, 7-6, 6-4 to put the USA into the final.

James Blake also defeated Simon Aspelin, sealing the Swedish defeat at 4-1 and easing them the American team into the finals, where they will play defending champions Russia.

The USA last beat Russia in the Davis Cup final in 1995 and have not won the competition since.

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CAA: Holidays in Spain still reign

Spanish holidays are still the most popular for travellers and visitors overseas, new figures have shown.

Over the course of 2006, more holidaymakers flew out to Spanish holiday destinations than any other, with flights to Alicante, Malaga and Palma among the most popular, according to statistics from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Moreover, the rise in the number of low-cost airlines flying from airports outside of London appears to have played a large part in the boom in Spanish holidays, the CAA figures indicate.

Over the last two years, passenger numbers at Heathrow were shown to have fallen by 3 per cent.

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