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Chronicle Live
Esther Marshall & Aaron Morris

Spanish tourism board claims Britons may be 'better off' spending winter abroad to avoid hefty energy bills

The official tourism board of Costa del Sol in Spain is urging Britons to leave home soil this winter, claiming that tourists may be able to escape the current energy crisis abroad.

President of the Costa del Sol Tourist board, Francisco Salado, said that the region is trying to attract energy 'nomads'. He claims that holidaymakers won’t be as cold in the sunny Malaga area, therefore may not need to use any heating whatsoever.

With regards to tourists, Francisco said: “They will be better off spending the winter with us.”

Read more: How long you have to use a Covid credit note for a cancelled holiday

The Express reports that some Governments across Europe were already encouraging residents to spend the winter months in warmer climates, rather than forking out substantial amounts at home to keep their properties heated. And Francisco explained why the destination is a leading choice for those strapped for cash in the colder months.

He added: “The Costa del Sol has an advantage in this situation because it is already a benchmark for good weather and quality facilities.”

Temperatures in Costa del Sol between December and February generally average around 14 degrees Celsius, and although winter is still the region's coldest season, it frequently doesn't get cold enough to warrant the use of central heating. Accommodation prices are also often at their lowest point in the winter, allowing Brits to bag a bargain on a temporary holiday home.

However, British tourists will be required to contend with stringent post-Brexit travel rules should they wish to fly south this winter. As it stands, UK nationals can spend a maximum of 90 days in the EU out of every 180 days, and may be penalised should they overstay their welcome.

These penalties come in the form of fines, travel bans and even overnight detentions in immigration facilities.

If British citizens wish to stay longer, they are required to apply for a standard visa. These Brexit rules have impacted the lifestyle of some UK jetsetters, who frequently spend the colder months on warmer shores - with many having to make the tough choice between applying for residency in Spain or selling their properties altogether.

Furthermore, it is a tricky process to apply for Spanish residency - with applications having to be made from the UK and requiring an abundance of proof and other necessary documents.

This news comes as energy bills continue to soar across the United Kingdom, leaving many cash strapped Brits struggling to pay ahead of the winter. Some experts have even suggested that some may relocate completely to far-flung destinations like Thailand.

Although the costs related to flying would be high, destinations such as Thailand and Vietnam have a substantially lower cost of living. The idea is expected to appeal primarily to the retired, who have much more freedom with regards to overseas relocation.

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