Spanish Islands Stop 2008 Tourism Slump - By: Roger Munns
In a recent survey by one of the UK's leading retail, holiday and banking groups, Spain looks set to remain a favourite destination for British holidaymakers this year, even though other destinations are proving to be cheaper as the Euro - the currency used by Spain - has increased in value against the British Pound, making Spanish holidays considerably more expensive this year than last.
Until official figures are out, controversy will reign in the travel world with some travel agents claiming that countries who don't have the Euro, such as Turkey, will draw more visitors than Spain this year, while the travel agents own trade organisation say Spain is still number one for British holidaymakers, with the Scottish people especially still choosing Spain above anywhere else.
Holidays in Spain have been popular since the advent of jet travel made overseas holidays possible for the masses, and turned small villages like Torremolinos on the Costa del Sol into the concrete jungle it is today - the worst excesses of tourism are over now thankfully, and the Spanish authorities have strict controls on what can and can't be built in popular holiday resorts along the Spanish coasts.
Tenerife is a prime example of how tourism has changed a holiday destination. From the 1960's onwards Tenerife became a popular destination with winter holidays becoming much more in vogue due to the island's all year round good climate, allowing Tenerife's tourist industry to prosper with year round tourism compared to some areas that have a six month season.
New hotels and housing developments were built without much thought for the environment, but now Tenerife has introduced planning rules that will protect her from future excesses.
The island was once a premier holiday hot spot amongst the elite, but a lack of investment caused it to fade off the holiday destination map. Now, with local leaders pushing for new strategies, Tenerife is making a comeback as the place to be when you want the perfect holiday.
Another Spanish holiday island that is doing well despite talk of a recession is Majorca - popular with European holidaymakers for over 50 years now, and still attracting new and returning tourists who might have been able to get a cheaper destination from their travel agency.
Also known as Mallorca, the island really started to develop as a tourist hot spot as far back as the 1920s. Today, Mallorca sees more than six million visitors each year, yet ninety-five percent of vacationers concentrate in only five percent of its territory. Mallorca is known as the Mediterranean Lady and it offers a little something for everyone.
Like Tenerife, Mallorca is good for year round holidays, but the travel industry has only started winter offers releatively late compared to Tenerife.
Many people actually prefer the slower paced winter holidays to the hustle and bustle of the busy summer holiday season. Temperatures in the winter season range from 6 degrees Celsius (42 degrees Fahrenheit) to 19 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit). These mild temperatures help make Mallorca the perfect wintertime destination for those who enjoy cooler temperatures and mild winter weather - after all not everyone wants to spend their holidays just sunbathing, though plenty do!
Water sports and golf are very popular in Majorca, and Majorca golf holidays in themselves are a niche travel market. Some local businesses offer dive or boat tours and diving lessons for those who prefer the Mediterranean to dry land. Diving in the Med is an experience like no other. Some species of tropical fish and marine life exist only in this temperate climate. Crystal clear waters offer a great viewing distance. Local businesses also offer boat and water craft rentals for those who wish to explore the open sea on their own.
Mallorca has a very colourful history dating back to the Paleolithic period. It has been under Roman, Byzantine and Spanish rule, and outside of the peak summer months is an ideal time for those interested in culture, art and history to visit the island.
Museums in various villages on Mallorca showcase a wide variety of artefacts from each period of the island's history. The official spoken languages on Mallorca are Catalan and Spanish, but many Mallorcans are becoming fluent in English and German as well, knowing that the tourist industry plays a major part in the island's economy.
Majorca and Tenerife might be a little more expensive this year, but it seems people are willing to pay the price.
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For travel news about Majorca holidays see yourmajorca.net
Information includes low cost Majorca flights and villa holiday companies who offer Majorca villa holidays