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Spain Europe’s most popular holiday destination

Published on 16/06/2004

16 June 2004

MADRID – Spain is still the most popular holiday destination for Europeans, despite their concerns about travelling after the 11 March terrorist attacks, a survey revealed Wednesday.

The report, ut by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP), found one in four Europeans who were spending their holidays in the continent planned to come to Spain.

The poll was conducted during April in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium and Britain.

But at that time, 32 percent of respondents said they would not travel to “a country recently affected by terrorism,” as Spain was on March 11.

The institute noted that “security is of increasing importance in choosing a destination.”

Sixty-three percent of respondents said security was the most important or second-most important factor in their choice, which represented a “spectacular evolution,” according to OFOP chief Olivier Bauby.

He said even if the terrorist attacks in Madrid have not caused the number of tourists coming on holiday to Spain to decrease, it has stopped a “significant” increase.

Concerns about security increased only 5 percent in Spain, while in the other countries, except for Germany, they grew significantly more – for instance, 12 percent in Italy, 9 percent in France and 8 percent in Austria.

In Europe, Spaniards most prefer to travel within their own country (85 percent), and Belgians are at the other extreme, with 14 percent, according to the IFOP poll commissioned by Europ Assistance, an international travel insurance company.

Of those going abroad, 28 percent plan to visit the United States, 26 percent are headed for Asia and 20 percent for Africa.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news