This year the British market is again going to dominate the Spanish tourist sector, but the Spanish and regional tourist boards, including the Balearics, are hosting a special two-day presentation in London to secure and improve Spain's position as the market leader. The STEPS fair is the first exclusively Spanish travel fair to have been held in London and will be opened at the Royal Horticulture Centre today by Spain's Secretary of State for Tourism and Commerce, Juan Costa. The Spanish Institute for Tourism, Turespaña, said yesterday that the main aim of the fair is to boost Spain's competitiveness in the British market. The two-day fair will focus on a set of specific areas of the tourism industry. E-commerce, business and products, conventions, culture and active tourism, such as golf, nature, cycling and hiking will be topping the agenda, but the quality sun and beach market will not be completely ignored. The “bucket and spade” sector accounts for 43 per cent of the market and another of Turespaña's objectives is to try and increase the amount of money spent by British holidaymakers heading for the beaches. Turespaña is well aware of the importance of the package holiday sector, but would like to see the convention market continue to expand along with the city break market. Barcelona is one of the most popular city-break destinations with the United Kingdom and Spanish regional tourist boards, such as Majorca, will be looking to open the British market's eyes to Palma as an attractive weekend destination for example.

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