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  1. ITV Report

The enduring appeal of a package holiday and why Spain is still the most popular destination for Brits

Travellers are spoilt for choice these days.

But it appears for Britons, nothing beats the appeal of a package holiday.

An analysis of travel habits over the last four decades has found 50% of holidays booked by UK travellers are packaged up - a figure that has held steady since 2014.

The findings have emerged from new data released by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) which also revealed Spain remains the favourite hotspot.

Some 13.6 million UK visitors jetted out there last year, compared with 6.7 million back in 1994.

Tenerife, a Spanish island, is a popular destination for Brits year-round. Credit: PA

The report found that the number of visits to major package destinations – Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Malta – almost doubled from 13 million in 1994 to around 25 million in 2018.

The research also noted one significant change with package holidays: attitude.

Back in the 70s it was often sold with the promise of a "home-from-home" – the UK but with better weather – but many UK holidaymakers are now keen to experience the best of the local culture.

The research also found package holiday trends of the past such as packing tea bags, cereal, cleaning products and tinned food for their holiday abroad, as well as confusing prosciutto for raw bacon, have become a lot less common.

Today’s holidaymaker is more likely to have a suitcase full of tech than tins, as travellers head off on their holidays equipped with cameras, tablets and high-end headphones.

The naff holiday attire once associated with package holidays has also been ditched. Credit: ITV News

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: ''The modern flexible and tailored package now includes everything from adventure holidays to well-being breaks and river and ocean cruises, as well as the traditional beach break.

''ABTA research shows that half of the holidays people take each year are package breaks, and this figure remains steady, and this is a tribute to the constant innovation and highly responsive nature of the travel industry, which continues to reflect and mould our customers’ holiday choices.''

David Child, from Thomas Cook, added: ''We know that if we keep offering new things, new holidays, new types of hotels, new services, we're going to bring new people to the value, the convenience and safety that comes with booking a package holiday.''