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Viva the Costa Not-a-Lotta!

Spain's story is not, however, a wholly negative one and it does not seem that the global recession has diminished its popularity as a holiday destination – especially with British tourists.

Statistics from the Office of National Statistics have shown that Spain remained the top British holiday choice for 2008, accounting for 12,029,325 holidays, and the popularity of this traditional holiday destination remains into 2009, as figures from Ascent Market Intelligence have shown. The company produce a Leisure Travel Monitor that is a unique record of the UK outbound holiday market and, utilising records of bookings taken through both travel agents and tour operators, have shown Spain's continued popularity, with the country holding poll position in terms of where Brits have booked breaks for the coming year.

Spain does not, however, remain merely a popular destination of choice when it comes to holidaying; it also remains close to the hearts of those looking to buy overseas. has recently released findings that have shown that this European destination is the most popular overseas choice for those searching on the website for overseas property for sale, ranking ahead of both France and Italy, using results of country and property page views.

This enduring demand for Spanish property – even during a recession – could explain why, whilst average property prices for the country have declined (from €248,000 in Q4 2007 to €247,000 in the same period in 2008) property prices in one the most popular regions of the country, the Costa del Sol, not only remain above the national average but are also still registering growth. Statistics from award-winning property portal have shown an increase of 5.85% in average property prices in Estapona in the Malaga province year on year when comparing Q4 2007's €427,000 with Q4 2008's €452,000.

Not only has this region of Spain always been a great draw for British tourists because of its white sands and safe seas as well as the wide variety of activities on offer and excellent value for money, another of the reasons for the Costa del Sol's continued popularity is due to increased government spending on its beaches and surrounding facilities. The Andalusian Government and the Western Costa del Sol Association of Municipalities have pledged €5,000,000 to improving the coastal areas between Torremolinos and Casares, including updating promenades and installing lighting and shower facilities.

This is not only excellent news for those tourists visiting the region for their holidays but it is also heartening for those who have already invested in the Costa or are looking to do so as it is sure to increase interest further still. Although the continued popularity of the Costa del Sol has seen it defy general trends, during times like these there are still bargains to be had and never before seen deals are becoming available to encourage people to continue investing in the region.