Belgians stay in their country for the time being
In the second quarter of 2021, tourism cautiously picked up again.
Belgians mainly chose domestic destinations: there were 67% more trips compared to the previous second quarters 2016-2019.
The art cities and the Ardennes experienced the largest increase, by 100% and 92% respectively. The coast counted 59% more Belgian travellers.
International tourism is at a very low level for the time being. The number of Belgian nationals crossing the border was almost 80% lower than in a normal second quarter, so that the number of domestic trips was exceptionally higher than trips abroad.
The number of business trips also fell by more than 60% compared to the previous second quarters 2016-2019.
Between 27/01/2021 and 19/04/2021, travel abroad was prohibited for Belgian nationals. After that, it was strongly discouraged until 1 July.
Number of travels by destination, duration and motif, 2020 (in milliers)
|Destination||Trips of 1 to 3 nights||Trips of 4 nights or more|
|Holidays||Professional trip||Total||Holidays||Professional trip||Total|
|Other European countries||80||30||110||210||20||230|
|Statbel (Direction générale Statistique - Statistics Belgium)|
Purpose and brief description
Travelling, whether domestic or international, for business or holiday, is becoming increasingly important in our way of life. This brochure presents the main results of a survey on the travel behaviour of Belgians. Travel habits have been followed since 1997 via a continuous quarterly survey amongst households. You will find here data regarding the duration and the motives of the trip, the destination, the accommodation type, the means of transport used and how the trip has been organised. The traveller's origin is also surveyed.
Inhabitants in Belgium
Data collection method and sample size
Survey technique based on the use of paper questionnaires
Timing of publication
Results available 6 months after the reference period
Number of trips: Trips of the inhabitants with at least one overnight stay. Day trips are also taken into account since 2014.
Duration of the trip: The duration of the trip is measured as the number of nights.
Purpose of the trip: There is only one main purpose for a trip, in the absence of which the trip would not have taken place. The Directive distinguishes two main reasons to travel:(i) business and professional; (ii) holidays, recreation and leisure. Holidays due to 'Visits to friends and relatives' should be included in point (ii).
Traveller: person who travels during the reporting period.