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Spain is celebrating a record year of tourism, having welcomed nearly 65 million foreign visitors in 2014. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has confirmed that between them visitors spent an impressive €63 billion, up 6.5% on the previous year.

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Tourism accounts for 10.9% of Spain’s GDP, according to the PM, generating 1 in every 9 jobs. Prime Minister Rajoy has stressed the area’s importance, saying it is, “a strategic sector for both the present and the future of our economy.”

The impact of the record-breaking year has been felt far and wide across Spain, with the country’s tourism minister recognising it as, “one of the key sectors in Spain’s economic recovery.”

Executive Vice president of Exceltur, José Luis Zoreda, comments,

“Tourism is leading the generation of net employment, closing 2014 with 53,213 enrolled in Social Security, 4.1% more than in 2013.”

He adds that tourism has given a boost to several related sectors, including commerce and construction. It is something that Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director for leading homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, has observed as well. He comments,

“Rising visitor numbers are great news for Spain’s construction sector. Certainly here at Taylor Wimpey España we have noticed strong demand for luxury holiday properties from buyers hailing from a wide range of countries. Spain has such an enchanting effect on so many people that they want to come back again and again, so buying a second home here is the perfect solution.”

The Costa Blanca is one of the areas to have benefited from Spain’s booming tourism trade. The Mayor of Calpe, César Sánchez, has highlighted the area’s cuisine and beaches as two of the leading reasons for its success and Taylor Wimpey España’s Marc Pritchard is certainly in agreement.

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“We selected Calpe as one of the most beautiful and desirable areas of the Costa Blanca and our influx of buyers have shown that it was the right choice. Our charming Calpesol development, where three bedroom houses are for sale from €179,500, has only two properties left available. Our other Calpe site, Montesol, has proven equally popular, with just three townhouses left, priced from €249,000. The area’s blend of excellent food, good wine, stunning scenery and family friendly beach is a truly winning combination.”

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Though it is early in 2015 to be predicting another record year for Spanish tourism, indications are that the figures should once more be good. Ryanair has reflected its confidence in the Spanish market by confirming that it will offer a total of 26 routes into and out of Valencia this summer, totalling 121 flights per week from that airport alone.

With its winning combination of sun, sand and sangria, Spain is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, but it seems that the powers that be are not taking anything for granted and are working hard to ensure that the Spanish experience is one that delights visitors from across the world.

For more information, please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) touches upon many people over the winter months, manifesting as moodiness, lack of energy, social withdrawal, carb cravings, weigh gain or full blown depression. Research shared by the Online Psychology Degree website has shown that some 50% of sufferers find antidepressants to be effective in combatting SAD, but that light therapy is significantly more effective, providing relief to between 50-80% of sufferers.

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Taking advantage of daylight is a key driver in the fight to combat SAD. A study by scientist Mirjam Muench showed that even just a few extra hours of natural daylight can help the brain’s cortisol levels to be naturally balanced, increasing levels of alertness and reducing stress. This is true of people suffering from SAD and of those who are not – in a nutshell, more daylight means more happiness.

Many of those who buy second homes overseas highlight the weather as one of their main motivators and it is something that leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España takes into account when selecting the sites for its properties. Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director, explains,

“Spain is the perfect place for banishing those winter blues and the Costa Blanca, enjoying some 325 sunny days per year according to Holiday Weather, is the ideal location for maximising exposure to natural light and enjoying the outdoor lifestyle.”

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Taylor Wimpey España’s stunning new front line properties there, with direct access to the beach, are packed with features like full length, sliding glass doors and well appointed terraces to ensure that outdoor living is fully embraced. At La Recoleta III in Punta Prima, Torrevieja, the Mediterranean style buildings enjoy outstanding views of the sea and owners can stand on their terraces and let the sunlight dancing on the water fill them with relaxation. Prices start at €142,000 for a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment.

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La Vila Paradis at Villajoyosa also enjoys direct beach access, with prices starting at €239,000. The apartments and townhouses feature gardens at ground level and terraces on the upper levels, providing ample space for sunbathing, dining outside or simply relaxing in the sun with a book. Both La Vila Paradis and La Recoleta III benefit from Taylor Wimpey España’s signature combination of communal pools, high spec finishes and great location in terms of local facilities.

It is not only adults who are susceptible to the winter blues, as any parent whose children have become restless and mischievous cooped up in the house over the course of a rainy weekend can testify, so a second home in the Spanish sunshine can be of benefit to the whole family. The UN General Assembly has decreed 2015 to be the Year of Light – now that’s something that every family can get on board with!

For more information, please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

THE weakened Russian ruble has led to a decrease in the number of Russian buyers of Spanish property.

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Falling oil prices, the decline in the currency and international sanctions against Russia over the crisis in the Ukraine have led to Russian buyers – not long ago hailed as the saviours of the Spanish property market – turning their backs on Spain.

“Russians are not buying right now,” Ramon Riera, President of FIABCI España, a grouping of 120 property specialists, told Business Insider.

“What’s more, some Russians are actually getting rid of their properties here in Spain. There were some deals that were about to go through but the Russians have disappeared,” he added.

In 2014, the ruble lost 40 per cent of its value against the euro and the Russian government forecasts that its economy will shrink by 3 per cent in the first quarter of 2015. According to statistics, Russians buying Spanish properties declined last year. In 2013, the Russian market was seen as the potential saving grace for Spanish real estate, with strong sales in many regions to Russian clients as they sought cheap property near the Mediterranean beaches of Spain. The number of Russian tourists was also increasing. However, in 2014, the number of Russian tourists to Spain fell by 10 per cent compared to the previous year, according to data from Spain’s tourism ministry.

 

La Recoleta III, Punta Prima / Torrevieja

  • 2 & 3 bedroom apartments
  • 2 minutes from the beach
  • Terraces and communal pool and gardens
  • Underground car park and storage room
  • Marble floors & air conditioning
  • All amenities in walking distance
  • Golf and leisure activities
  • In association with Grupo Inmobiliario Gomendio

La Vila Paradis, Villajoyosa / Alicante

  • 2 & 3 bed apartments & townhouses
  • Front line to the beach
  • Wide terraces with sea views
  • Communal swimming pool and gardens
  • Quality finishes
  • Fitted kitchen
  • Private parking
  • 20 minutes by car from Alicante

 

FREE WiFi will soon make lazing on Palma’s beaches all the more enjoyable, thanks to an agreement between the Balearic Port Authorities and Palma’s Tourism Foundation 365.

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The free internet connection will cover the stretch of coast between the Can Pere Antoni beach and Dique del Oeste, including the docks of Pelaires, the Paseo Maritimo promenade and the Moll Vell area.

The new service, which will be implemented in several phases, will add to the one already operational at Platja de Palma, which was enthusiastically received by the public.

The initiative was introduced during a meeting held by the Tourism Foundation board, which took place in Es Baluard and was presided over by the mayor, Mateo Isern.

In addition, the budget for the organisation was decided, with an increase of 10 per cent, a total of €6.1 million allocated for 2015.

The Foundation will continue to energise and promote tourism programmes, which have been increased by 32 per cent in 2014.