As Belgian statistical office, Statbel wants to map the impact of the Covid-19 crisis by providing a first provisional estimate of trips made in the 1st semester 2020.
According to this estimate, the number of trips collapses from mid-March due to the lockdown. We observe a modest recovery from the second half of May onwards. In the second half of June, just over 400,000 trips were made, 61 % fewer than in 2019.
Travel recovery mainly in Belgium
In the second half of June, trips abroad in particular suffered from the situation and registered a 75 % decrease compared to the previous year. On the other hand, trips in Belgium only decreased by 18 %. So during this period, there were almost as many trips abroad as in Belgium.
Number of trips by fortnight in 2019 and 2020* by destination (in thousands)
|*2020: provisional estimate based on an experimental methodology - Statbel|
The number of same-day visits follows the same trends as trips. In June, there were half as many as in 2019.
Every year, the Belgian population is asked about its tourist and business trips. Each quarter, a sample of people is drawn to complete a questionnaire on the trips made in the last three months. This survey is designed to have valid results over the whole year. But 2020 being a very special year because of the restrictions on freedom to travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to present figures that make it possible to follow the evolution over time of the number of trips.
So, we counted the number of trips over fortnightly periods and the number of same-day visits per month throughout the first half of the year.
From a methodological point of view, these provisional results of the travel survey for the year 2020 are experimental because the reference population used for extrapolation is not the one that will be used in the final results with all household responses. Therefore, there can be some minor differences between experimental and official publications.