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Europe Holidays Enjoy a Bumper Year

It’s official! The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has declared Europe’s travel and tourism sector to be well on the road to recovery.

Latest figures from the UNWTO show European countries enjoying a 6 per cent year-on-year rise in visitor numbers between January and August this year.

Arrivals increased by over 7 per cent in northern, central and eastern Europe, and there was an 8 per cent increase in southern Europe as countries such as Spain and Portugal cashed in from a dip in demand for cheap holidays in North Africa and the Middle East.

Some of the countries with the biggest economic difficulties received good news during the first eight months of 2011, with Greece, Ireland and Portugal all welcoming double-digit increases in the number of tourists. July was the true hot-spot of the year, the UNWTO said, with the global travel industry experiencing an all-time record number of international tourist arrivals – around 118 million inbound travellers from across the world.

Overall throughout 2011, there was a 4.5 per cent year-on-year increase during this period, reaching an August total of 671 million.

When it comes to hunting down cheap holidays in Europe, the two golden rules still apply: research your options online and make sure to plan well in advance. Good travel sites can not only bring the bargains to you, they enable you to easily compare prices and find out more information about your preferred destinations – particularly what the best value choices are when it comes to travel, eating and drinking.

Planning early means that you will more easily snaffle the best prices before they are snapped up by others. This applies to package deals, hotel room, flights, car hire and other rentals. With European countries keen to attract tourists, you will be surprised at the great deals there are out there.