STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
MANY people living in the Balearics who decided to leave the Islands for the long weekend chose to go on a week's cruise around the Mediterranean, said Pedro Iriondo, President of the Balearic Travel Agency Association (Aviba) yesterday.

Alternatively, they chose to escape to other European cities such as Istanbul, Lisbon, Dubrovnik, Rome, Prague and Paris, he said, explaining that getting to these destinations from Palma is straightforward as there are direct flights.

Each holiday maker, he reported, has been spending between 300 and 900 euros on their trips.
Iriondo added that between them the travel agencies and tour operators had managed to sell all the places on direct flights from Son Sant Joan to European cities.

He said that the “long weekend” was particularly extended this year as it had officially begun last Saturday and ends tomorrow.
Also selling well at this time of year, said Iriondo, have been trips to the German city of Munich to visit the Christmas markets there. Popular too has been spending the long weekend at ski resorts on the mainland as snow has already fallen sufficiently in several places.

Iriondo explained that it is likely that more people chose to go away this year for the early December holiday than they did in 2008 for two reasons. Firstly because the calendar dates have meant that there have been more free days this year and secondly, a year ago, the economic crisis had started to bite and many people put holidays on a back burner for fear of finding themselves out of work in the coming months.

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