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Family holidays in Spain for new Asterix film

Britons looking to take last minute holidays to Spain should book their flights to Alicante, where the new Asterix film is premiering next week.

The film, which cost €78 million to shoot is entitled Asterix at the Olympic Games and is released at a time when Spain's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games is under discussion at the Madrid-based International Tourism Trade Fair.

The premiere takes place on Tuesday at the Teatro Principal in Alicante and would be an impressive treat for those enjoying a family holiday in Spain.

It is claimed that the new Asterix film is the most expensive European film ever to have been made.

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Holidaying Brits 'not securing valuables'

British holidaymakers should take more care of their pricier possessions while enjoying Spanish holidays, it has been suggested.

According to Nationwide, one in three Brits surveyed do not take out travel insurance each time they go on holiday.

Moreover, many travellers opted to store their valuables in less secure places than their safety deposit box, such as on themselves and in various places in their hotel room.

"It is astounding that people are prepared to take such a gamble when travelling abroad.

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Travellers 'look for warm welcome'

Same-sex couples taking holidays overseas are attracted to destinations in which they feel their business is welcomed, it has been reported.

According to Aspire+, gay couples, who may enjoy taking Spanish holidays, want to feel "specifically" welcomed by hotels and tour operators without feeling pigeonholed or stereotyped.

The news comes as a study by the company revealed that the stereotypical holiday based around all-night clubbing is not accurate, with "most" gay men preferring to travel independently or in the company of like-minded groups.

"I think that the research is quite heartening in many ways.

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Brits 'to continue visiting Spain in 2008'

British holidaymakers will continue taking flights to Spain in similar numbers to those seen last year in 2008, it has been reported.

According to Typically Spanish, tourism forecasters based in Andalucia on the coast of Spain have anticipated that a comparable quantity of travellers taking Spanish holidays in 2008 will be of British, German and Belgian nationalities.

However, tourist experts are expecting to see an increase in numbers of those taking flights to Spain from eastern European countries and Holland, the publication claims.

"Holland is an interesting case with a € 45 per person carbon footprint surcharge being added to all long-distance flights from the country this year," Typically Spanish reports.

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'Surprise' in Spanish Oscars

The Goya Awards, Spain's version of the Oscars, took place in Madrid at the weekend and many commentators have expressed their surprise at the recipient of the winning film.

La Soledad, a small independent film, beat off competitors to win best picture - last year won by Volver starring Penelope Cruz - while Jose Luis Torrijo also picked up a best actor accolade for his performance as Pedro in the movie.

The film also bagged a best director award for the work of Jaime Rosales.

"This is a historic moment for Spanish cinema, because never before has such a strange and radical movie won the award," Rosales commented.

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"Rare" map comes home to Spain

A rare map dating back to the 15th century was today returned to the Spanish government.

Last year the 526-year-old map which is based on work by ancient astronomer and geographer Claudius Ptolemy in his influential atlas Cosmographia was stolen from Spain's National Library in Madrid.

Now those taking Spanish holidays can see the map in its rightful home.

"This remarkable map has had a profound influence on how we understand geography today.

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Spain offers 'better quality of life'

An extended Spanish holiday could be just what the doctor ordered for British consumers fed up with public services, education and the weather, according to one commentator.

Spain has been included in a list of top scoring countries in a quality of life index compiled by NatWest.

The bank's IPB Quality of Life Index placed Spain at seventh in the list of ten countries rated by expats who surveyed it on factors such as quality of life experience including housing, public services, weather and the natural environment and other lifestyle indicators.

"The chance to work or retire abroad to a place in the sun has long been a desire for many Brits and it is interesting to note for those considering the move to wider shores that the grass can indeed be greener on the other side," observed Dave Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Banking.

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Brits passport problems exposed

Britons looking to take flights to La Manga for Spanish holidays should endeavour to keep their passports safe after the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) revealed the top ten passport disasters as noted by their staff.

The advice comes as the IPS urges travellers to check their passports well in advance of booking their Spanish holidays as changes being introduced mean that first-time adult passport seekers may have to wait up to six weeks for their passport.

According to the IPS, more than 225,000 passport-holders reported their British passports lost or damaged in 2007.

"Without a valid passport, you run the risk of missing out on your trip abroad, or having to waste time and money organising a replacement," Home Office minister Meg Hillier advised.

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Madrid Olympics would 'boost Spain'

Madrid is a city that is growing in popularity among international tourists taking flights to Spain for Spanish holidays, it has been reported.

Meanwhile, Mercedes Coghen has claimed that if Madrid wins its 2016 Olympic bid, hosting the Games could help Spain to become the world's most popular holiday destination.

She added that Madrid would become a "must visit" city as tourism is at the heart of the Spanish economy.

"Hosting the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games would provide a perfect platform on which to build Madrid's international profile as one of the world's top holiday destinations," the bid leader enthused at the International Tourism Trade Fair in the city.

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Flooded family flee to Spain

A couple from Covingham in the UK were forced to flee the wet weather of England and relocate on an extended Spanish holiday after their stationery business went under - under water during the July 2007 floods.

The Wiltshire couple took flights to Spain after their home - from which they ran their business - was flooded by four feet of water.

Andy and Linda Voaden took flights to Alicante before heading to their holiday home in La Zenia after they decided they could not run their business from a hotel room.

"We were lucky to be able to come here.

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