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Spanish high-speed train 'to bring about economic upturn'

A high-speed train in Spain will not only offer those taking Spanish holidays a green alternative to air travel but may also bring about an economic upturn, it has been reported.

Sur in English reports that it is anticipated that the AVE high-speed train will boost the real estate market while also encouraging new tourism opportunities in the Malaga region.

Rail Europe recently reported that new high-speed rail links are opening up holiday destinations across Europe, including Spain.

"[There is going] to be a high speed line running from Paris all the way down to Madrid and Barcelona .

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Malaga by sea

Those taking Spanish holidays may traditionally arrive at their destination by air, however, Malaga is gaining a reputation as a cruise ship port, it has been revealed.

So much so, that this December a new port was opened by Spain's minister for development, Magdalena Alvarez and president of the Junta de Andalucia, Manuel Chaves, Typically Spanish reports.

Meanwhile, Sur reports that the new port is expected to make Malaga the fourth major cruise ship port-of-call in Spain as well as a major player in southern Europe.

Scheduled to open later this month, it is anticipated that the 500,000 passengers will travel through the port annually within five years, president of the Port Authority Enrique Linde told the publication.

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Baggage restrictions "eased" at UK airports

Holidaymakers taking flights to Alicante in 2008 look set to benefit from a relaxation in cabin baggage policy from airline bmi.

The removal of certain restrictions will take effect from January 7th 2008 and will affect passengers taking flights to Spain from Manchester Airport as well as London Heathrow, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Under the new rules, business and premium economy travellers will be entitled to take onboard two pieces of cabin baggage while restrictions pertaining to carrying liquids onboard remain unchanged.

"In addition, all passengers may also bring one personal item, such as a small handbag, purse, small briefcase, laptop or baby-change bag," the airline noted.

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Monarch carries more to Murcia

Airline Monarch has announced that it has transported a record number of holidaymakers during 2007.

Last year, 3.7 million passengers took flights to Murcia and Almeria among other destinations, compared to 3.2 million passengers in 2006.

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Murcia goes organic

There is a demand for organic produce among those taking family holidays in Murcia, it has been argued.

According to Fresh Plaza, research by Agro Profesional's Javier Herraiz Ramos reveals that the organic cultivated area in Murcia has risen from 100 hectares in 1997 to 25,000 hectares in 2007.

Fresh Plaza notes that this is a 250 times increase in the space of a decade.

It reports that according to figures from the counsellor of agriculture and water, Murcia is Spain's second largest province in terms of organic production.

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New flights to Spain announced

A selection of new routes has been announced by budget airline easyJet, including several flights to Spain.

Flights to Malaga, Majorca, Ibiza, Mahon in Menorca as well as flights to Alicante have been published by the low-cost carrier.

Routes to Malaga are available to book now from Manchester and London Gatwick, easyJet notes.

The news comes ahead of the scheduled completion of easyJet's bid to purchase Gatwick-based British Airways franchise GB airways later this month.

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Sustainable Spain

Unveiling a list of 40 travel trends and tips for the coming year, the Times reports that eco-friendly travellers are likely to take a train to Spain for their Spanish holiday in order to attend the Expo Zaragoza 2008.

According to the Times, the event is running from June 14th until September 14th and has a water and sustainable development theme.

Zaragoza was elected to host the 2008 international exposition in Paris on December 16th 2004, beating fellow candidates Thessaloniki in Greece and Italy's Trieste.

The event promises to be especially spectacular as it coincides with the two hundred year anniversary of the Siege of Zaragoza in 1808 as well as the centennial celebration of the Hispano-French Exposition of 1908.

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Spanish islands 'hold unique appeal'

Spain's Balearic Islands hold a unique appeal and attract a range of different travellers, it has been claimed.

According to Your Menorca, Ibiza is well known as a clubbing destination and is frequented by 18 to 30 year-olds who possess a "high" disposable income.

Menorca, in comparison, is a popular destination for those looking to enjoy family holidays in Spain, as well as those looking for Spanish holiday villas.

According to Your Menorca, the island is the quietest of the archipelago.

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Brits 'to book post-Christmas holidays'

A significant proportion of Britons are set to book their first 2008 Spanish holidays in the upcoming months, it has been revealed.

Sainsbury's Bank reports that almost 12 million people will be booking flights to Murcia and other destinations between Christmas and February.

Additionally, the bank anticipates that 23 per cent of keen British bookers will aim to do so in the first week after Christmas.

"It's a great time of year for planning ahead and booking a trip early as there are usually many bargains to be had," commented Steve Johnson, head of Sainsbury's travel insurance.

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Christmas holidaymakers 'seeking sun'

Travellers who took Spanish holidays this Christmas were most likely doing so for the winter sunshine, it has been claimed.

According to the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta), Britons are most likely to travel abroad over Christmas in search of guaranteed sunshine.

Spokesperson Sean Tipton added that some people also travelled abroad for guaranteed snow.

"I'm not saying nobody does but people going away at Christmas aren't really aiming for cities, they are looking for winter sun," he commented.

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