Friday, 4 August 2017

Brits Grabbing Spanish Package Holidays in Record Numbers

Brits Grabbing Spanish Package Holidays in Record Numbers

With the fantastic climate and wonderful Mediterranean cuisine
its no wonder more and more Brits are coming to Spain. 
One of the main summer staples of Brits is the idea of the complete package holiday. They offer a well-priced week or two in the sun for the whole family to enjoy. They’re also hassle free as travel, dining, and leisure is taken care of in advance. 

Spain has been the primary destination for Brits booking holidays across the past few decades. Even so, there have been a few times it looked like the country might have been about to lose their package holiday crown.

Cheaper alternatives emerged, such as Tunisia, Turkey and Bulgaria; placing heavy pressure on the Spanish resorts. Then came Greece, Italy, and Portugal; that offered something new and exciting for Brits to enjoy by virtue of being “not Spain”. 

This period of uncertainty was not to last however. Europe and the Mediterranean alike were hit by the global credit crunch. Even though Spain had a harder time recovering than other countries, the tourism industry wasn’t nearly as badly damaged.

As prices fell across Europe following a period of employment uncertainty and job losses, cash-strapped Brits stayed starved for some sun and fun, and they continued to prove their loyalty to the Costas. Spanish tourism remained strong between 2008 and 2013 – and even increased dramatically during 2014.

After a record-breaking 2016 Spain is ready and willing to welcome even more tourists during 2017. This is partly down to the unfortunate death of Egyptian and Tunisian reports as a result of security threats and terrorism – but a good majority of it is down to the excellent weather of the country, along with the affordability, accessibility, and high quality of the resorts in the country. 

British holidaymakers have always been fans of this combination, which would explain why the number of package holidays in Spain booked as of June 24 is already 270,000 higher than for the same point last year; at least according to the data from Gfk Leisure Travel Monitor. 

The statistic represents a growth of almost double that seen in Greece; the second-most popular package holiday choice for Brits. It also puts Spain well ahead of other favourite destinations including Croatia, the Caribbean, Cyprus, and Portugal.

The data also showed that holiday bookings for the USA, Egypt, and Turkey have fallen compared to this time last year. America can put this down to the Trump Effect, while Turkey and Egypt can put it down to terrorism concerns.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Spanish King Spoke to UK Parliament

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Spanish King Spoke to UK Parliament  

The king and queen of Spain headed to the UK in July and spent three-days in the country on a Royal excursion. The royal couple visited Buckingham Palace, had dinner at Clarence House, enjoyed a business workshop in London, and took a trip to the House of Commons, where King Felipe addressed Parliament. 

The royal visit is the first one of its kind in around 30 years, and comes when the UK and Spain are managing to maintain their good relationship despite the issue of the Brexit. The royal visit has been rescheduled twice because of internal political reasons. 

King Felipe and Queen Letizia  arrived in the country on July 11th where they will proceeded directly to 10 Downing Street and enjoyed dinner with British Prime Minister Theresa May. 

Everything will officially begin when the royal couple meet the British royal couple – Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh – at Horse Guards Parade. 

It’s expected that there will be a message to Spanish companies and nationals in the UK to reassure them over Brexit and let them know they are still welcome – an issue that King Felipe himself is expected to bring up when he addresses the House of Commons. 

The Spanish royals met much more than just the Queen and Prime Minister; as the entire royal family was present at a gala dinner held on July 12 at Buckingham Palace. 

It seems that the royal family gathering like this to welcome a visiting foreign dignitary is a rare occasion, and Spanish diplomats are said to be delighted at how warmly the British royals are welcoming their Spanish counterparts. 

Prince Charles accompanied King Felipe on a visit to the city, where they attended a meeting of Spanish and British business leaders, before heading to Westminster Abbey where they pay ed homage to recent terror attack victims. 

A visit to Oxford for some academic meetings and presentations will round off the trip. Reports suggest that people on both sides are responding positively to how much respect and warmth is being shown by the royal families of both countries.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Spanish Government Plans to Create 20,000 Public Sector Jobs Across Next Two Years

Spanish Government Plans to Create 20,000 Public Sector Jobs Across Next Two Years 

creating more jobs can only be good for everyone 
The Spanish government has pledged to create 20,000 additional public sector jobs leading up to 2019. The move is part of an effort to provide the official authorities and services of the country with more support. 

The El Mundo newspaper is reporting that 7,000 of these jobs will be for general state administrations, along with another 3,360 positions opening for the judiciary.

4,000 jobs will go to the Spanish civil service, social security, and tax authority institutions as Madrid is looking to boost the ability of the government in key areas. 

It’s expected that many of these prospective roles will be announced – and potentially filled – by the end of the year. If this is the case, it would be one of the most powerful recruitment drives ever by a Spanish government. The vice president of CSI-F – the majority union in the Central State Administration – spoke to El Pais; saying that the plan looks to ensure the viability of the administration which has seen young staff decimated in the past six years. 

The official data shows that only 1,388 of the 190,858 public sector workers in Spain are under 30 years old. This statistic shows not only how public sector roles have been the domain of the old and connected Spaniard, but also the need for a fresh young mindset and new ideas. 

This doesn’t help that absolutely zero public sector roles have been created in the country since 2010. Spain has been dealing with austerity since 2010, but the current economy is holding strong and prospects are good, giving the government the freedom to bolster the public sector while they can.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Madrid Welcomes First Nap Bar in Spain

Madrid Welcomes First Nap Bar in Spain

Does the new nap are have any legs ? 
Spain treated the world to the siesta, and the world responded with the soul-crushing 9-5 office life. Spanish workers were forced to burn out in a strip-lit open office where they can’t even rest their eyes without having someone look down on them.

The siesta hasn’t died off just yet – especially in the more rural regions of Spain – but it has become more difficult for Spaniards to find the time for one. No doubt these Spaniards are going to embrace the new nap bar opening in Madrid to cater to those looking for that blessed mid-afternoon nap.

The Siesta and Go bar is inspired by similar concepts that can be found in Tokyo, Dubai, and London; three places where everyone understands the value of a well-rested worker. 

Patrons at the bar can enjoy going an hour’s sleep for as little as €12-14 per head, with both single and double rooms on offer. Of course, these establishments might be enjoyed by patrons looking to move their office flirtations into the next level, but these nap bars are primarily intended to be used as a place for tired workers to rest and recharge their batteries. 

The 19-room Siesta and Go is located in Azca; the financial heart of Madrid. Workers are able to walk in and ask for vacancies or book a stay in advance. The rooms at the bar are similar to hotel rooms in that they are regularly cleaned with fresh bedding. Staff are ready and willing to wake you up if you have trouble getting up on time as well. 

Siesta and Go also features a lounge filled with comfortable chairs, coffee, and newspapers, allowing customers to just walk in and get awayfrom the Spanish sun when it gets unbearable.

Monday, 31 July 2017

What the Running of the Bulls Festival Says About Spain

What the Running of the Bulls Festival Says About Spain

It’s time once again for those shaky videos of men panicking as they run through the narrow streets of Spain – pursued by bulls no less – to flood the internet. 
Running the Bulls in Pamplona each year comes with so many dangers

If you’d missed the news, the Running of the Bulls festival of Pamplona is ready to go for another summer. Also returning with the festival are the piles of articles condemning the practice, and the news reports keeping track of the injuries and fatalities. 

Things have been pretty good on that front for 2017; which has  seen only some injuries and gorngs. It’s nothing like 2016, in which an astonishing 12 people were severely gored. 

It’s understandable why the world would hold such a fascination for this ancient festival. Something that’s more interesting though is analysing what the festival – and indeed the attention it generates – shows us about Spain. 

Tradition Never Dies…

 Whether it’s flamenco dancing, bull running, bull fighting, the siesta, or the weird human pyramids we see each year, the cultural traditions of Spain never die. If anything, they seem to be getting even more popular thanks to the modern world of social media that records and shares just about anything. 

There will always be controversy over bull fighting, but even the harshest critics of the practice admit that it is a powerful market of Spanish cultural identity; perhaps the most distinctive cultural identity there is in the world. 

Foreigners Love It

Of course there will be some Americans, Brits, and other Europeans that focus heavily on the number of people injured during the Pamplona bull run, but this doesn’t deter Spaniards. 

How much Spain insists on maintaining their traditions – even when faced with “health and safety” concerns – really speaks to those who are tired of living in their Nanny States. A tomato fight would never be sanctioned in the UK, never mind a bull run. This creates a real sense of “anything goes” in Spain that appeals to thousands of tourists. 

The World Shows Respect

Most countries with unique and alien cultural traditions can hope to be ignored or admonished only a little at best. But this isn’t the case with Spain. 

Semana Santa, La Tomatina, and the Pamplona bull run draw in a wealth of press from around the world each year. The reason for this is that they respect Spain and are fascinated by a country that has their own distinct regional identities. It also speaks of the desire to protect and nurture these traditions; something that is almost unique in the modern era.