British holidaymakers are increasingly opting for Spanish holidays in the form of shorter city breaks to cities like Madrid, it has been reported.
Sean Tipton of the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) reported that the rise of low-cost airlines means that Europe is now more accessible than ever to those who wish to take weekend breaks in the sun.
The comment came as easyJet announced that a new route between Newcastle and Murcia will be in operation from May 2008.
"What the no frills carriers have done is open up a whole range of new city break destinations that people would never have thought of in the past.
Budget airline easyJet has announced that a new route between the UK and Spain will be introduced in spring 2008.
Flights to Murcia will operate from the regional airport in Newcastle three times a week as of May 17th next year.
According to easyJet, the route will be popular among those looking to enjoy family holidays in Spain - with an estimated 41,000 passengers expected to travel on these flights in the service's first year of operation.
"Murcia has proven to be a popular destination from other easyJet bases in the UK and now independent travellers from the north-east can take advantage of this new service from our Newcastle base, to one of Spain's most popular cities," commented David Osborne, easyJet UK's general manager.
Spanish holidays are an ethically sound choice when compared to holidays in far flung destinations such as Borneo, it has been claimed.
Leo Hickman, author of The Final Call: In Search of the True Cost of Our Holidays, told the Telegraph those taking annual two-week holidays in Spain were not having the same effect as people who take ten flights per year.
Mr Hickman observed that holidaymakers travelling to Spanish resorts like Benidorm were located in a ten-kilometre "hotspot" and therefore lessening their impact on the environment.
"Tourism clusters or hubs like this are the model for more responsible travel.
Britons have greater access than ever to holidays in Spain and other European destinations thanks to low-cost airlines.
According to the Airport Operators Association (AOA), the low-cost airline market has opened up access to European regions like Spain while also enabling Spanish holidaymakers to visit the UK.
A study by the CAA on air services at UK regional airports revealed that regional airports have grown at a faster rate than London airports since 1990.
"The low cost market has really risen and it's just opened up access to so many places across Europe.
Of the many Britons planning on escaping the cold weather of England this winter for a seasonal Spanish holiday, it is possible that a number have booked to see the recently reformed Spice Girls in concert in Madrid.
The girl group has come a long way since hitting the charts with Wannabe in 1996 and fans are snapping up tickets where they can to catch a glimpse of the quintet on their reunion world tour.
Singing at the Madrid Arena on December 23rd will be the full Spice-rack of Posh, Baby, Ginger, Scary and Sporty - also known as Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, Melanie Brown and Melanie Chisolm.
Beckham is no stranger to the Spanish capital having lived in the city for four years between 2003 and 2007 when footballer husband David Beckham played for Real Madrid.
Brits looking for a Spanish holiday base are opting away from the traditional district of the Costa del Sol to the increasingly popular Costa Almeria, it has been reported.
According to James Dearsley of Atlas International, the Costa del Sol's popularity over the past few years has pushed property prices in the region up and now holidaymakers are considering that they can get more for their money in places like Murcia.
Furthermore, the popularity of the Costa Blanca region has increased by 275 per cent in the past nine years.
"We're finding that people are moving from the Costa del Sol to the Costa Blanca, because they want more for their money," he added.
An online guide promoting both Portuguese and Spanish holidays on the Iberian Peninsula has been launched.
The Portugal? Spain? Both.website is aimed at providing visitors with increased awareness about the countries and even features an interactive game called Exploria which children on family holidays in Spain may enjoy.
Furthermore, the site serves as a portal offering holidaymakers a comprehensive guide to events in Spain and Portugal as well as what's happening in terms of arts and culture, wine and cuisine as well as beaches and spas.
Older Britons are looking to take Spanish holidays this winter in order to escape from the dreary British weather, it has been reported.
According to Bradford & Bingley, an "increasing" number of Brits wish to spend entire winters on holidays in Spain.
Reasons given for escaping the UK included dark days, cold weather and expensive winter fuel costs - compared to an "abundance" of bargain winter holidays deals.
Meanwhile, research from Alliance & Leicester has shown that over-50s now have much more time and money than younger people to travel further afield.
People who choose to marry overseas generally tend to combine their honeymoon and wedding and hold both in the same location, it has been reported.
According to hitched.co.uk, it can be quite costly to get married abroad and therefore it is unlikely that couples will stay for only a few days before moving on.
Sunshine and seclusion are important factors for couples when choosing a honeymoon, it has been reported.
According to hitched.co.uk, couples value being on their own somewhere without many children when it comes to an ideal honeymoon.