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 LAWRENCE, Kan., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Europe is this year's top

international vacation destination, according to a survey of more than 1,200 travel agents conducted by Maupintour Inc., a leading Midwestern- based tour operator.
 The survey also asked agents what specific European countries would be most popular this summer and fall. Their answer was Spain and Scandinavia, says Ed Clement, the company's director of marketing.
 "This isn't surprising when you consider what the countries in these two regions have to offer visitors," explains Clement. "While they are very different in culture, climate and topography, the Iberian region and Scandinavia have historically been two of the most popular vacation spots for American tourists. Again this year, our destination survey of travel agents indicates that these countries will continue to attract people headed across the Atlantic."
 In addition to historical and cultural Moorish and Roman traditions that the Iberian peninsula is known for, the Olympics in Barcelona and the Expo and Columbus celebrations in Seville will help focus world attention on Spain and Portugal.
 Maupintour, which has operated escorted vacations worldwide for more than 40 years, has two programs to Spain that include Expo '92 in Seville. The company's 14-day Iberian Highlights program and 21-day Mallorca/Spain/Portugal tour not only give travelers a thorough tour of Spain, but the sun coast of Portugal as well. Both programs include passes to "The Age of Discoveries" celebration, which is held during the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage to the Americas at the Expo in Seville.
 Other renowned regional highlights include the art galleries and museums of Madrid, flamenco performances, and the cities of Cordoba and Granada in Spain. And in Portugal, sites include Lisbon, the walled Moorish city of Obidos and other coastal villages.
 Between the North and Baltic Seas, the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark give a much different travel experience than that found in Spain.
 "The attractions of Scandinavia are its glacial fjords, Norse- Viking heritage and rich artistic culture," explains Clement. "The Old World charm of northern Europe remains as influential as ever and draws a great number of Americans of Scandinavian descent."
 Maupintour has three different programs to Scandinavia, including Northern Capitals/Fjords, Capitals/Fjords/Finland and Scandinavia Lifeseeing. All include three to four days of sightseeing in fjord country and the cities of Copenhagen, Denmark; Oslo and Bergen, Norway; and Stockholm, Sweden. However, each tour offers a different itinerary of cities and attractions that make it unique.
 For people travelling to Spain or Scandinavia this summer, Maupintour's Clement suggests making airline, hotel, land transportation and other arrangements as far in advance as possible, and then confirming them several weeks before departure. "With all the events scheduled this summer throughout Europe, most of the more popular destinations and accommodations will already be booked. Planning in advance, and then making contingency arrangements, will help make the vacation more enjoyable and prevent unexpected problems."
 An alternative to travelling to Europe independently is to go as part of an escorted group. Clement notes that this type of travel takes many of the potential problems and uncertainties out of international travel, such as communications barriers, and transportation, lodging and sightseeing arrangements.
 "Many people find that they enjoy their vacations more, plus get to experience and see more attractions without the planning hassles, when they travel as part of an organized tour," he adds. "And carefree enjoyment and sightseeing is what vacationing is all about for many people."
 For help in planning your summer vacation to Spain or Scandinavia, see your travel agent or contact Maupintour at 1515 St. Andrews Dr., Lawrence, Kan. 66047; telephone, 800-255-4266.
 -0- 2/11/92
 /CONTACT: David Smith of Maupintour, 913-843-1211; or Kelly Schwalbe of Harmon Smith, 816-756-0756, for Maupintour/ CO: Maupintour Inc. ST: Kansas IN: LEI SU: SM -- NYTFNS10 -- 8585 02/11/92 06:54 EST
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Date:Feb 11, 1992

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