Survey on holidays and travels

Belgians stay in their country for the time being

Households
Survey on holidays and travels

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.

Remark:

Between 27/01/2021 and 19/04/2021, travel abroad was prohibited for Belgian nationals. After that, it was strongly discouraged until 1 July.

Table
Content

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
Total 4,350 350 4,700 6,530 160 6,690
European Union 4,250 270 4,520 5,820 110 5,930
Belgium 2,650 60 2,700 1,570 10 1,580
France 640 80 720 1,960 30 2,000
the Netherlands 500 20 520 280 . 280
Germany 190 40 220 230 10 240
Spain 50 10 50 490 10 500
Italia 50 10 60 430 10 450
Other EU 190 70 250 860 20 890
Other European countries 80 30 110 210 20 230
Africa 10 50 50 220 10 230
North-America . . 10 60 10 80
South-America . . . 10 . 10
Asia 10 . 20 180 10 200
Oceania . . . 20 . 20
Statbel (Direction générale Statistique - Statistics Belgium)
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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.

Population

Inhabitants in Belgium

Data collection method and sample size

Survey technique based on the use of paper questionnaires

Frequency

Annually.

Timing of publication

Results available 6 months after the reference period

Definitions

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.

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