Survey on holidays and travels

Belgians made 1.8 million more trips in 2018

Households
Belgians made 1.8 million more trips in 2018

The total number of travels of the Belgian population increased by 1.8 million (10 %) between 2017 and 2018, according to the travel survey of Statbel, the Belgian statistical office. Belgians made 20.5 million trips of at least one night last year.

Just under two thirds of the Belgian population travelled at least once in the past year (64%).

12.15 million trips covered 4 nights and more. 5% of these trips were for professional reasons.

For 8.35 million trips, the stay was limited to 1 to 3 nights. 11% of these trips were made for professional reasons.

Belgium and France are the favourite holiday destinations

In total, the Belgian population has therefore made 19 million trips for holiday purposes.

For short trips of 1 to 3 nights, Belgium is the main destination (41%), followed by France (22%) and the Netherlands (14%). Almost all of these trips (98%) are made within the European Union’s frontiers.

For long trips of 4 nights or more, France comes first (24%), Belgium and Spain are ex aequo (14%). The destination of 84% of these trips is a country of the European Union.

Table
Content

Number of travels by destination, duration and motif, 2018 (in milliers)

Destination Trips of 1 to 3 nights Trips of 4 nights or more
Holidays Professional trip Total Holidays Professional trip Total
Total 7,464 885 8,349 11,590 559 12,149
European Union 7,363 834 8,197 9,775 359 10,134
Belgium 3,050 199 3,249 1,577 46 1,623
France 1,677 177 1,854 2,990 75 3,065
the Netherlands 1,067 107 1,173 411 9 420
Germany 516 87 603 313 29 342
Spain 154 22 176 1,574 47 1,621
Italia 145 46 191 711 31 742
Other EU 754 196 950 2,198 122 2,320
Other European countries 64 27 91 483 65 549
Africa 30 15 45 653 28 681
North-America 1 5 7 196 45 241
South-America 1 . 1 194 6 200
Asia 4 4 8 285 52 338
Oceania . . . 4 3 7
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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