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Brits pay "cheap" prices for holidays

Britons are paying some of the "cheapest" prices in Europe for holidays through UK tour operators, according to a leading industry expert.

Sean Tipton of the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) claims that the average cost paid by British travellers is the second cheapest in Europe, after Portugal, with Swiss customers paying around twice as much for the same holidays.

British tour operators have witnessed a sharp rise in the number of people choosing to go away during the winter months, fuelled by the poor weather last summer and recent cold snaps.

Mr Tipton estimates that around two thirds of those opting for winter breaks are opting for sun, with a Spanish holiday proving enduringly popular, while the remaining third are choosing guaranteed snow.

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Murcia - tranquil shorelines and more

As one of Spain's 17 autonomous communities, Murcia is different to other self-governing districts in the country.

Unlike the majority of autonomous Spanish communities which have several provinces located in the same region, Murcia is wholly contained - however it is the region's magnificent mountain ranges and spectacular coastlines that make it really stand out.

Bordered by Andalucia, Almeria, Granada and Alicante, Murcia is a producer of olive oil, wine, fruits and vegetables and other crops.

Murcia is also recognised to be a major tourist destinations for visitors from the UK, Europe and around the globe.

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Summer rain 'drove up winter holidays'

There was a "huge rise" in winter holidays over the Christmas and new year period, it has been reported.

According to the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta), rainy summer weather in Britain in 2007 cause many people to book Spanish holidays and flights to other destinations in order to get away.

The news comes after Lastminute.com revealed that holiday bookings for the seven-day period preceding Christmas rose by 18 per cent in comparison to the same period in 2006.

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Book a holiday in "dull" January

Britons feeling the new year blues have been urged to book a holiday and get away during the "dull" month of January.

Airline Jet2.com made the suggestion after announcing that it had made price cuts to some of its flights to Spain.

Jet2.

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Costa del Sol beaches 'to be replenished'

A project has been announced to help replenish the sand on the Costa del Sol's beaches, it has been revealed.

Andalucia's news publication the Olive Press revealed that the Spanish government intends to plough €6 million into the regeneration project which will be spent by the Ministry of the Environment on 27 Costa del Sol beaches.

The publication reports that low rainfall has damaged beaches along the Malaga coastline, while Typically Spanish claims that Levante winds and storms have also affected the sands.

Nonetheless, Torremolinos Council informed the publication that the municipality's beaches are "in perfect condition".

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Regional airports 'make life easier' for holidaymakers

Taking flights to La Manga and other destinations from regional airports allows holidaymakers to cut down "unnecessary surface journeys" it has been argued.

Tony Hallwood, aviation development director at Bristol International Airport, reported that given the choice, holidaymakers would prefer to fly regionally rather than out of a "congested" city airport.

Mr Hallwood's comment comes after a Civil Aviation Authority report released in November showed that annual passenger numbers at UK airports broke the 100 million barrier for the first time.

Additionally, the survey showed that regional airports had experienced a faster growth than London hubs.

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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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