Joan Collins
EVERY Spanish family spends an average of 1'880 euros on Summer holidays, compared with the European average of 2'235 euros per family, according to the results of a poll by Ipsos and Euro Assistance. Also, together with the British, the Spanish are the Europeans who most like to organise their holidays themselves, booking transport, a place to stay and other services separately. In any case, nearly 70 percent of Europeans going on holiday this Summer have booked everything early, while nearly a third of those questioned (30 percent) will leave it to the last minute. With regard to the use of the internet, some 35 percent of Europeans use the internet to organise their holidays, an increase of 7 points on 2005. In Spain, in spite of the fact that 40 percent of Spanish people going on holiday this Summer went to traditional travel agencies or tour operators, the number of users of the internet to book holidays has risen by 5 percent. The poll was done by telephone between March 3 and 22 2006 with a sample of 3'535 Europeans of seven nationalities (British, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Belgian and Austrian).The results reveal that 51 percent of Spaniards will take a holiday this year and of those some 11 percent will have several holidays, which is an increase of 8 points in comparison with last year, although it is nowhere near the European average. On the other hand, Spain is the European country where people have the most consecutive weeks of holiday, some 18 percent of those questioned go on holiday for a whole month. This is in sharp contrast with the Germans and Austrians, of whom only 7 or 6 percent respectively go on holiday for a whole month.
For the majority of those interviewed (some 61 percent) the main reason for taking a holiday is to rest, followed by wanting to experience other cultures (37 percent). Europe continues to be the preferred destination for 81 percent of those questioned. The three top destinations for Europeans on holiday are: France (19 percent); Italy (19 percent); and Spain (18 percent). Some 47 percent of Europeans spend their holidays in their own country. The Europeans least likely to holiday outside their own country are the Spanish (70 percent); followed by the Italians (68 percent); and the French (65 percent). In addition to this, the World Cup tournament in Germany has had an influence on when they will take their Summer holidays this year for 14 percent of Europeans, and for 10 percent it has also had an influence on where they will take their holidays. Some 24 percent of the British regard this event as important as opposed to 5 percent of the Spanish.

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