Tourism in Belgium is recovering from the pandemic as an increase in border crossings is recorded
Belgian nationals cross the border more often now compared to the time of the pandemic, indicating progress in the tourism sector.
According to a report by Tourism Flanders, the sector is recovering, although there are some changes in travel and tourism habits among Belgians, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The pandemic has pushed many Belgians to travel and vacation in their home country, which has become common practice for all Europeans.
“I have seen firsthand how hard our tourism entrepreneurs have struggled during COVID-19, but I am especially proud that, despite everything, they never gave up and are once again receiving many domestic and foreign visitors for take advantage of all the assets that make Flanders a unique tourist destination”, Peter De Wilde, CEO of Tourism Flanders noted.
During the pandemic, the number of trips booked at the last minute has increased dramatically, with these typically occurring up to around two weeks before departure. This average was a month ahead in 2022, as booking periods again reach 2019 levels.
Additionally, the report reveals that traveling by car became popular during the COVID-19 crisis, but it has not been common since summer 2021 as air travel regained popularity.
The cleanliness and atmosphere of accommodations and attractions has become a key factor for tourists since the pandemic, while the report also highlights that getting sick while traveling has taken on considerable importance and is a concern that persists to this day. In addition, increased attention is paid to strikes, as well as booking and cancellation conditions.
According to StatBel data, the number of overnight stays for the month of May reached 3.8 million, with most recorded overnight stays spent in hotels (46%), holiday homes and apartments (17%), shopping centers holiday homes and holiday villages (11%). percent).
In addition, the number of overnight stays in May exceeded that of the same period in 2021 by 107% and that of May 2020 by 5132%, when only 73,168 overnight stays were recorded. In addition, the number of nights spent in May 2022 exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 8%, indicating positive results for this period.
According to the regions, the Flemish Region recorded 2.4 million overnight stays, followed by the Walloon Region with 831,121 overnight stays and the Brussels-Capital Region where tourists spent 581,025 overnight stays – up by 405% and 6506% compared to May 2021 and 2020, respectively.