A rush to Spain
More than 11 million Britons took a holiday in Spain during the first nine months of 2011, an increase of nearly 10 per cent on last year. The Spanish Tourist Office said it had been "one of the best years ever for UK tourism", with the country benefiting from political turmoil in North Africa and higher holiday costs in Turkey. British holidaymakers accounted for nearly a quarter of all foreign arrivals in Spain.
Vueling, the Spanish low-cost airline, will start a new service from Cardiff to Barcelona in March. Flybe has started flights between Manchester and Knock, in Ireland. Monarch Airlines has announced 14 new services to Italy and Croatia, to begin next summer.
Awards for Telegraph Travel writers
Two of our writers, Gavin Bell and Nick Trend, won awards this week for articles written for Telegraph Travel.
Gavin Bell won the top award of the Queen’s English Society for an account of a journey on the Desert Express in Namibia. The society, which is dedicated to promoting excellent English and to halting a perceived decline in standards in the age of mass communications, said his piece was “a vivid account, full of excellent similes and appropriate metaphors”. Four of the other finalists were Telegraph writers. To read the article, go to telegraph.co.uk/desertexpress.
Nick Trend, our consumer affairs editor, with a feature on Leonardo da Vinci’s final days in the Loire, won the prize for the best article on culture and history at the inaugural French Press Awards. To read his article, see telegraph.co.uk/davinci.
Ban for model village's mini Olympics
A popular family attraction in Torquay has been banned from building a replica of the London Olympic stadium.
Babbacombe Model Village plans to celebrate the Games next year by holding its own sporting event, featuring a scaled down Olympic park and miniature races.
But the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) has said it is not allowed to use any official logos, or build a stadium that resembles the real one in Stratford.
Labour drops backing for Heathrow third runway
Heathrow’s lingering hopes of building a third runway have been dashed after the Labour withdrew its support for the project.
Maria Eagle, the party’s transport spokeswoman, reversed Labour’s policy on Heathrow’s expansion in a speech to the Airport Operators Association.