Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a combination of fabulous beaches, great cities, deep heritage and superb cuisine has earned Spain the title of the perfect holiday nation.
In a social media poll with more than 6,000 respondents, Spain was just 55 votes ahead of Italy.
On behalf of The Independent, Twitter users were asked: “Suppose you were told all your future overseas holidays had to be in the same foreign country. Which would it be?”
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In the series of semi-finals, each attracting around 3,000 self-selecting responses, Spain was way ahead of Germany, Turkey and Russia – taking almost three-quarters of the vote.
In the other European semi-final, Italy took only one-third of the vote – but against very tough competition from Greece, Portugal and France.
The first worldwide semi-final saw Australia taking more than half the votes, ahead of Thailand, India and China.
In the second, the United States secured three-fifths of the ballot, with the rest divided by Mexico, South Africa and Egypt.
In the final, Spain received 1,951 votes, just ahead of Italy with 1,896.
In third place was the United States with 1,379, with Australia trailing well behind in fourth with 795.
The tussle attracted a fair amount of heckling, with Deb Smith writing: “Out of all the amazing places in the world and people are voting Spain?”
But @jonnyro5 said: “Definitely Spain – it includes blissful, sub tropical winter sun in the Canary Islands only four hours from the UK.”
Heather Jordan, though, spoke for many when she wrote: “Has to be Italy out of those four. Location, diversity of geography, culture, people, history, food.”
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