SPAIN is hoping to capitalise on cold winters and energy bills elsewhere in Europe, including the UK, by promoting its warmer weather as winter approaches.

Southern Spain and the Canary Islands are hopeful of taking advantage of ‘thermal tourism’, a new trend for flying to cheaper, warmer climates to escape the winter and the cost of living crisis in the UK.

The president of the Spanish federation of tourist departments Miguel Ángel Sotillos said: “From what we’re seeing, people are realising that it’s cheaper to come here than to put the heating on at home.”

“There’ll be clusters connected by direct flights with hotels and restaurants that are prepared to stay open,” he continued.

“What we’re saying is that it might be less costly to turn off the heat back home and come here. It’s as simple as that.”

Several travel agents are offering deals of three or four weeks or more to popular Spanish destinations.

Packages for three-week half-board stays in Costa del Sol hotels are averaging between €900 and €950 per person.

Ryanair announced last month that the number of flights operating out of Malaga during the winter season would rise by 17% compared to last year.

The first indication of ‘thermal tourism’ appeared when travel agent TravelTime World launched a campaign in September named ‘The Heat is On’ encouraging UK residents to take long-stay holidays this winter.

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