THE Balearics is the third most popular holiday destination in Spain for Britons making reservations on the inernet for breaks between 15th June and 15th September, tourist market researchers and booking site “HomeAway” said yesterday .

The watchdog reported at the same time that Spain is still the top holiday destination for people from the United Kingdom. “HomeAway”claimed that a quarter of holiday enquiries and bookings made over the internet by UK residents relate to Spain, and that the top Spanish destinations are the Costa del Sol, the Costa Blanca and the Balearics.

Laura Rivera, director of the Spanish branch of “HomeAway” said that research “clearly showed” that Spain remains the favourite holiday spot for the British. She added that in terms of bookings made through the “HomeAway” website, Spain is the third most sought after destination in the world, trailing only behind the United States and France.

Rivera said that research shows that for 60 percent of the British, a private pool was the most important factor in the choice of renting a property, followed by ease of transfer to and from airports (37 percent) and car hire facilities (30 percent.)

Meanwhile, according to a survey published yesterday by online holiday watchdog “Logitravel”, 30 percent of Spaniards on the mainland wanting to go “somewhere different” choose the Balearics as a holiday destination. The study showed that mainland Spaniards - who generally prefer to spend a family holiday within the country - spread their preferences for each of the Balearic Islands fairly evenly and choices were by no means concentrated on one island to the detriment of others. Figures from the survey showed that last year, 11 percent of all Spanish holiday-makers opted for Minorca, 10 percent for Majorca and 9 percent for Ibiza.