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SPAIN

Missing Swede turns up in Spain

The 61-year-old Swedish man who was reported missing on Saturday during a holiday to Barcelona has been found alive and well.

He has not been the victim of any crime, according to the Swedish foreign ministry.

The man walked into the Swedish consulate in the Catalonian capital on Wednesday afternoon and explained who he was, the ministry confirmed.

The man, from Piteå in northern Sweden, was on a weekend break with his partner in the Catalonian capital when he disappeared, according to a report in the Piteå-Tidningen daily.

The man’s disappearance was been reported to the police with the Swedish foreign ministry in contact with local authorities. The search for the man was conducted by Spanish police and according to media reports Interpol were called in to the case.

The man was missing for over four days and police in Piteå were involved during the course of investigations, interviewing friends and relatives in Sweden.

The party was scheduled to return to Sweden on Monday and the couple travelling with the 61-year-old man and his partner returned as planned. The man’s partner was due to fly from Girona on Wednesday when the man reappeared.

The reasons behind the 61-year-old’s disappearance remain unclear, as is why he waited until Wednesday to come forward.

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TOURISM

Mallorca remains top sun spot for Swedish tourists

Spanish island Mallorca is the most popular holiday destination for Swedes in 2015, 60 years after the first charter plane touched down there.

Mallorca remains top sun spot for Swedish tourists
Playa Cala Major beach in Mallorca. Photo: TT
While Sweden is currently basking in record spring temperatures, a new poll suggests that 43 percent of Swedes are planning 
to travel abroad this summer with Mallorca the most popular location.
 
The island has been a magnet for Swedes for decades and 2015 marks 60 years since the first charter flights between the Nordic nation and the Spanish beach destination.
 
It even boasts its own Swedish-language newspaper, Mallorca Nyheter and Princess Birgitta, the sister of King Carl XVI Gustaf
has a home there. 
 
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands and is famous for its beautiful coastline, stunning mountains and growing food scene as well as its club and bar scene.
 
Spain is the favourite country overall for Swedish people booking summer breaks in 2015 according to the survey, which was carried out by pollsters Novus on behalf of Swedish travel agency Ticket.
 
Barcelona came eighth in the poll, with Malaga also edging into the top ten for the first time.
 
New York is another hot spot for Swedes, despite the krona dropping against the dollar in 2015.
 
Antalya in Turkey also scored highly, alongside Sardinia and Sicily in Italy.
 
Ticket said it suspected there had been a 'Pluras kök boost' in the region, fuelled by the success of Swedish television cooking show 'Pluras kök' (Plura's kitchen), which is shot in the mountains above Cefalu on Sicily.
 
Speaking to The Local on Thursday, one of Scandinavia's other large travel companies, Sembo, said it wasn't surprised that Spanish holiday destinations including Mallorca remained firm favourites for Swedes.
 
"Mallorca is the most popular destination for our customers too. There have been a lot of changes there from being a charter destination in the '60s to becoming much more modern. Hotels and restaurants have been redeveloped and of course the amazing beaches are still there," said press spokesperson Aud Bengtsson.
 
"I think it has something for everyone and also a lot of adults travelling there today went there with their kids, so they have a lot of good memories and want to share them."
 
For those earning salaries in krona, she suggested Croatia, Italy and the south of France as holiday spots where Swedes could still get a lot for their money, despite the currency fluctuating this year.
 
"In southern Europe food, drink and activities are still much cheaper than in Sweden," she added.
 
Spain welcomed record numbers of tourists in 2014 with 65 million foreign visitors to the country.
 
Nearly a quarter of all tourists were British, while France overtook Germany as the second biggest source of tourists.
 
The Nordic countries were grouped together in fourth place, bringing five million visitors to Spain, 3.5 percent more than in 2013.