BRITISH residents are reportedly facing a 'summer holiday crisis' because all hotels and resorts on the Spanish coasts are fully booked for July and August.
The run on sunshine breaks outside of term time has multiplied this year, because many Brits feel other beach destinations are not safe.
Turkey has suffered attacks in Ankara and Istanbul – some distance from the traditional holiday resort towns along the west and south coast, but near enough to put UK tourists off.
The terrorist massacres in Tunisia – in the capital, Tunis, and the seaside town of Sousse – mean European tourism has now disappeared in the country, and Egypt's holiday belt in Sharm El-Sheikh on the Sinai peninsula has fallen from favour after a plane full of Russian tourists was shot down by DAESH.
And this has led to a tourism boom in Spain and Portugal, with UK tour operators warning they may have no offers left by this time next week.
Britain has the shortest school summer holidays in Europe, and although Spain and its neighbouring destinations used to benefit from UK nationals filling up their resorts and hotels from early spring until at least October, UK laws have changed and parents are no longer allowed to take their kids out of school for a week's or a fortnight's holiday.
Travel agencies take advantage of this by hiking prices out of term time, and working parents have to queue up for time off in late July and August, or over May half term, since there is no other time of year they can take the whole family on holiday.
Low-cost airlines said their bookings for flights to Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia have plummeted.
Irish carrier Ryanair says its market for German holidaymakers travelling to Turkey is one of its largest after the UK-Spain connections, but that after 10 German tourists lost their lives in a terror attack in Istanbul recently, one in four of them has decided to avoid the country.
They are looking at destinations in Spain and Portugal instead, Ryanair says.
The most popular areas of the country for summer breaks are, as usual, the Balearic and Canary Islands and the coasts of Andalucía and Alicante, particularly the Costa del Sol (Málaga province) in Andalucía and the town of Benidorm (Alicante province), and to a lesser extent, the Costa Brava (Girona province).
As yet, the coasts of the Region of Murcia and much of the provinces of Valencia and Castellón, or Tarragona and Barcelona in Catalunya, all of which enjoy the same weather in summer as the more typical British favourites, are relatively untouched by UK tourists – despite being near airports and with excellent facilities.
For that reason, they tend to be cheaper.
Those who want sunshine but are happy with just a swimming pool rather than a beach will find plenty of hot weather, hotels and even cheaper breaks in the land-locked region of Extremadura and southern Castilla-La Mancha, and the inland provinces of Andalucía.