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... Valentine's destinations 'more diverse' Valentine's destinations 'more diverse'

12 January 2008

Traditional destinations remain popular among die-hard romantics whisking their loved ones away for Valentine's Day, but places such as Marrakech and the Icelandic city of Reykjavik are emerging as more offbeat favourites.

Barcelona and Monaco are also giving stalwarts Paris, Venice and Rome a run for their tourist money, according to the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO).

An AITO representative said that seasoned travellers were seeking to treat their beloved to somewhere like Reykjavik because it was "a little bit off the beaten track"

He added: "They are so well travelled at this point; they have done a lot of the major cities and now they want something a bit different."

Despite being on another continent and the most exotic of the preferred destinations, Marrakech remains close enough - about four hours by plane - that people do not have to take too much time off, he said.

Last year, an estimated 800 million was spent by British men on presents for their partner, with the average male forking out 44.63.