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Murcia to host flamenco festival

Murcia in south-east Spain is set to host one of the year's biggest celebrations of flamenco traditions later this month.

The historic area of the country, which is already popular as a destination for people taking holidays in Spain, is to host the Cante de las Minas Festival from the 7th until the 16th of August.

A variety of venues, including spectacular halls will be alive with the unmistakable sounds of Spanish flamenco guitar and dancing feet.

Everything on show will be authentically flamenco as the locals and visitors enjoy the ambiance and celebrate with a range of exhibitions, dances and wine-tastings.

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All you need to know for your Spanish vacation in La Manga

A Spain vacation has been a perennial favourite of British holidaymakers for decades. And yet, as society, the economy and the choice available to travellers evolve, Spain's popularity shows no sign of diminishing. So what is the secret behind this ongoing love affair?

One major factor would have to be the climate. Many experts in the travel industry this year have suggested that an increasing number of people will be staying in the UK due to the strength of the euro.

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Brits already booking next year's holidays in Spain

British consumers are already booking next year's holidays in Spain in an effort to get the most for their currency, it has been suggested.

The Milestones company maintains that large numbers of holidays in Spain and in other areas of Europe are being snapped up by Brits who are worried the pound will weaken against the euro.

Holidays to countries outside the so-called euro-zone are reported to have risen in popularity in recent months but people from the UK are not always willing to forego holidays to their favourite destinations.

"Bookings for popular countries are already looking strong for next year," said Matt Clapson, Milestones general manager.

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Sunny Spain 'unbeatable for many'

The sun-drenched coastlines of various parts of Spain are unbeatable as far as many people from the UK are concerned.

Such is the claim of James Charles who writes for the Times recently that while the property market in Spain has been struggling in certain areas, there is still plenty to draw visitors to the Mediterranean.

Holidays to Spain are very popular with travellers from the UK and some families enjoy their trips so much they look to relocate to the country.

Doing so can be tricky though and anyone thinking of moving permanently to Spain should seek out all the tips and advice they can find from reputable sources, Mr Charles maintains.

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Spain 'remains top destination' for British families

Holidays in Spain remain particularly popular among British families despite the relative strength of the euro against the pound, it has been claimed.

According to Elizabeth Young, editor of the guide publication Travel for Kids, families from the UK are keen to holiday in a single location each year with Spain undoubtedly among their favourites.

Explaining why so many families from the UK set off for holidays in Spain and other parts of Europe each year, Ms Young suggests that it is straightforward and relatively inexpensive to do so.

"With inexpensive airlines, families can plan a weekend in Barcelona, for example, more easily than having to drive to the beach in the UK," she said.

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Kids get golf lessons during their holidays

A number of children from South Wales are being taught how to play golf this summer as part of their holiday activities.

A scheme designed to get youngsters in the Neath and Port Talbot areas playing sports and staying active is underway and is being organised by the George Best Foundation and supported by the Ryder Cup.

The 70 or so children involved, who are aged between seven and 15, have been instructed on some of the basic shots in golf and it is hoped that they will get a taste for the game and look to hone their skills.

A local representative of the foundation behind the scheme Pat Lyons told the Port Talbot Guardian: "Their first day saw them fire shots towards a hole 40 yards away with the nearest players getting towels and shirts as prizes.

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Irish making more trips to Europe

Irish consumers have been taking more and more trips to Europe in recent years, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

During the first three months of this year, close to 960,000 journeys were made between Ireland and parts of Europe outside the UK, which was an increase of almost 180,000 from two years ago.

Other areas of the world are also becoming increasingly popular with Irish tourists, while holidays in Spain are proving to be particularly well liked in the republic.

Indeed, holidays to Spain were the most common kind of overseas break taken by people from Ireland in the first quarter of this year, with the exception of the UK, the CSO has revealed.

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Holidays spending habits highlighted

A report from the Cater Allen Private Bank has highlighted some of the spending habits among British holidaymakers.

Over the course of a year, British tourists spend a collective total of close to £64 billion and for almost one-third of people their holiday expenses account for ten per cent or more of their annual budget.

There are plenty of good deals available on holidays to Spain and to the La Manga Club and Britons tend to be happy enough to splash the cash when it comes to travelling to their favourite sun-drenched destinations.

On a regional basis, people living in the south-east of England are among the biggest holiday spenders, while those in Wales generally keep a tighter reign on their purse strings, Cater Allen reports.

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Holidays 'are a necessity'

Holidays in Spain or in other parts of the world tend to be viewed by British consumers as a necessity and not a luxury, one expert has asserted.

With this in mind, many people have already planned and booked their 2009 getaway despite the financial constraints millions of families in Britain are feeling, suggests Ian Bradley, a spokesperson for the Association Independent Tour Operators.

Tennis holidays in La Manga and trips to the southern Mediterranean in general are among those being booked by British tourists and the aim for many is to save regularly to make sure their holiday plans become a reality.

"People are deciding that they are going to take their holiday next year and want to budget for it at the moment - book it now and save up in the meantime," explained Mr Bradley.

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Spanish Villas

Villa rentals in Spain are not, as it is sometimes believed, the preserve of older couples who are veterans when it comes to holidays in Spain. Nor are they favoured only by families with children - although indeed this demographic undoubtedly accounts for a large portion of the Spanish villa rental market.

Indeed Spanish holiday villas are becoming an increasingly viable option for all types of holidaymakers, in particular those travelling from Britain who are feeling the pinch of the credit crunch.

Spanish holiday villas are also popular properties to rent for those who are perhaps not feeling the effects of the credit crunch as much as others, such as celebrities.

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