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Indian cricket legend to coach at La Manga Club

Those hoping to improve their cricket skills on holiday in Spain may be interested to learn that Indian cricket ace Farokh Engineer will be taking his talents to La Manga Club.

The legendary wicketkeeper and batsman will be at the resort from April 25th to 27th, where he will be running several coaching sessions.

Engineer, who is now an umpire in the Indian Premier League, has had a cricket career spanning 15 years and played in 46 test matches for his country.

Coaching sessions must be booked in advance and all proceeds will be donated to a charity supporting homeless children in Mumbai.

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Holidays in Spain 'still popular'

European destinations that are close to home are still proving popular with British holidaymakers, it has been claimed.

According to travel site Expedia, the strength of the euro has not deterred people from taking holidays in Spain and city breaks elsewhere on the continent.

Jonathan Cudworth, head of product marketing at the site, said recent data indicated that seven out of ten most popular destinations are less than three hours away from the UK by plane.

"If properly researched and booked using the correct tools, savvy travellers are still able to find great value accommodation, activities and places to eat, whatever their budget," he added.

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Easter exodus 'proves holiday demand'

The demand for foreign holidays this Easter has proved that Brits are still keen to travel, despite the credit crunch, it has been claimed.

According to a recent report in the Independent, more than two million people jetted off on flights to Spain and other destinations over the Easter weekend, representing a significant increase on last year.

Manny Fontenla-Nova, chief executive of Thomas Cook, said that people are beginning to appreciate the value offered by package breaks.

"Many of our customers now are feeling better about life in terms of disposable income," he added.

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European hotels 'still good value'

European hotels still offer good value for British holidaymakers, despite the euro having strengthened against the pound.

Figures from accommodation provider show that the average London hotel comes in at £111 per night, compared to Lisbon, where the average is £89.

Nigel Pocklington, managing director of the site, said that with a little research, people can still find some excellent deals.

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Half of Brits 'long for sunshine breaks'

Almost half of Brits are craving a holiday in the sun, it has been revealed.

A survey carried out by Holiday Extras found that, for 48 per cent of people, a break in the sun is the ideal holiday choice.

Further results found that 31 per cent of people would travel abroad this spring, despite the strength of the euro against the pound, while 13 per cent of people are considering a long-haul getaway.

Commenting on the findings, Mike Whiting, managing editor of Holiday Extras, said: "I'm not surprised that so many people want guaranteed sunshine this spring and while some people will certainly be choosing to holiday closer to home, tourism abroad is still high on the agenda for most.

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Malaga Film Festival begins

Brits taking holidays to Spain may be interested to hear that the annual Malaga Film Festival is now underway.

Now in its 12th year, the event will run until April 25th and will feature 14 films, as well as several documentaries from national and international filmmakers.

Some of the main features competing in the film category include The Forst by Ferran Audi, Trash by Carles Torras and Pagafantas by Borja Corbeaga.

It is also thought that Spanish actor Antonio Banderas will be presenting a lifetime achievement award to fellow actor Juan Diego.

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Brits 'fight for holidays'

Over half of Brits (60 per cent) plan to use their full holiday entitlement this year, despite increased pressures at work, it has been revealed.

Research carried out by Expedia found that 45 per cent of people feel relaxed and rejuvenated after a holiday abroad, while 29 per cent believe it improves their productivity.

However, despite the benefits that holidays to Spain and other destinations can bring, one in five people have cancelled a break in the past on account of work commitments.

Jonathan Cudworth, head of product marketing at Expedia, said that it has never been more important for people to take time out and recharge their batteries.

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Spain is 'most popular destination' for Brits

Official figures have revealed that Spain is still the most popular destination for British holidaymakers.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), holidays in Spain accounted for 27 per cent of overseas breaks in 2007, with over 12 million visits to destinations such as Alicante and Murcia.

ONS figures also show that Brits are taking more holidays abroad than ever and that trips overseas have risen by 56 per cent in the last decade.

"The volume of expenditure by UK tourists abroad has also risen over the years.

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Top tips for 'friendly holidays'

With one in ten friendships ending after holiday mishaps, a company has compiled a list of top tips for groups heading abroad this summer.

According to Essential Travel, Brits can ensure they have stress-free holidays in Spain and other destinations by sharing the planning with friends and keeping group numbers down.

Friends should also decide in advance whether they will be splitting bills or paying for food individually.

In addition, families are advised to think long and hard before jetting abroad with another clan.

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Holidaymakers should 'choose prepaid currency cards'

Brits taking holidays in Spain this year have been advised to opt for a prepaid currency card.

Foreign exchange specialist Caxtonfx said that UK banks will be collectively charging £754 million for overseas transactions this year, representing a six per cent increase on 2008.

Some credit cards charge around £1.50 per transaction and impose additional "loading" fees, meaning that once their tan has faded, holidaymakers could be left with a hefty bill.

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