Travelling

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    Statbel DataLab: new statistics, methods and data sources beta version

    DataLab: The number of trips decreases by 76% in the 4th quarter 2020 (vs 4th quarter 2019)

    DataLab
    DataLab: The number of trips decreases by 76% in the 4th quarter 2020 (vs 4th quarter 2019)

    As Belgian statistical office, Statbel wants to map the impact of the Covid-19 crisis by providing fast a first provisional estimate of business and holiday trips made by the population. The figures for the four quarters of 2020 are now available. Final figures will be available this summer.

    According to this estimate, the number of trips[1] collapses from mid-March due to the lockdown and increases slightly from the second half of May onwards. Belgians even made 5 million trips in July and August, but this still represents a 28% decrease compared to July and August 2019.

    The second lockdown resulted in a new sharp decrease in the number of trips in the fourth quarter. In this period, 1.2 millions trips were made, i.e. a 76% decrease compared to the same period in 2019.

    The following chart makes it possible to compare the number of trips in 2019 and 2020 per half-month.

    Voy_Trim4_1_en

    Christmas holidays in own country

    The few trips made by Belgians had mainly a domestic destination, 62% chose to stay in Belgium. In 2019, three quarters of trips at the end of the year still involved cross-border travel, while in December 2020, there were 88% fewer trips abroad than in the previous year.

    Voy_Trim4_2_en

    Regional differences

    Far fewer business trips

    Voy_Trim4_3_en

    Voy_Trim4_4_en

    Voy_Trim4_5_en

    Far fewer business trips

    The decrease in the number of business trips is sharper than that of holiday trips or other personal trips. The number of these trips was in the last quarter of 2020 83% lower than in the same period of the previous year.

    Voy_Trim4_6_en

    Same-day visits abroad

    Also for excursions abroad we note in the fourth quarter a very sharp decrease: -80% compared to 2019.

    Voy_Trim4_7_en

    Remarks

    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.
    Therefore, we counted the number of trips over fortnightly periods and the number of same-day visits per month in 2020.

    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.

    Annex

    Number of trips by fortnight in 2019 and 2020* by destination (in thousands)

    Fortnight 2019 2020*
    Belgium Abroad Total Belgium Abroad Total
    1-14 January 70 300 370 95 276 371
    15-31 January 117 292 409 154 445 599
    1-14 February 71 353 424 139 446 584
    15-29 February 103 360 463 270 733 1,003
    1-14 March 199 789 989 100 411 511
    15-31 March 202 462 665 15 25 41
    1-14 April 276 965 1,241 1 12 14
    15-30 April 255 647 902 5   5
    1-14 May 108 503 611 7 7 14
    15-31 May 241 882 1,124 58 15 73
    1-14 June 310 584 894 69 51 120
    15-30 June 262 809 1,071 239 327 567
    1-14 July 403 1,571 1,974 441 819 1,260
    15-31 July 343 1,795 2,139 592 1,113 1,704
    1-14 August 310 1,090 1,400 406 667 1,073
    15-31 August 353 1,175 1,528 446 598 1,044
    1-14 September 176 724 900 270 281 551
    15-30 September 170 544 714 231 175 406
    1-14 October 197 503 700 115 132 248
    15-31 October 305 869 1,174 157 81 238
    1-14 November 242 481 723 119 87 206
    15-30 November 165 289 453 41 33 74
    1-14 December 130 362 492 56 63 119
    15-31 December 335 1,002 1,337 202 97 299
    *2020: provisional estimate based on an experimental methodology - Statbel


    [1] ] The data presented here refer to trips of at least one night.