Belgian Tourism Destination Experiences A Boost Due to Domestic Visitors
Wallonia is one of the most popular destinations for visitors in Belgium, although travellers have been leaning more toward overseas destinations, as the regional tourism office, Wallonia Belgium Tourism (WBT), noted.
According to a press release by WBT, 80 per cent of accommodation facilities in Wallonia have been occupied from July 1 to August 15, indicating a 20 per cent increase in occupancy rates of the region’s tourism accommodation spots, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The most popular were local accommodation and holiday villages, with campsites also experiencing a 30 per cent increase. The hotel sector also saw a strong recovery, with 42 per cent more occupancy than in the summer of 2021.
Some of the most sought attractions were those near water, which broke visitor records, with some outdoor activities soaring by 44 per cent. The drought, however, affected tourism for some water activities, such as kayaking, which could not be maintained for many places.
The increase in electric bicycles has impacted walks and bike rides to become popular, as more visitors opted for such activities.
However, indoor activities were less popular, with museums and air-conditioned places making an exception, as those recorded more visitors than in 2021, but most attractions received about the same number of people as in the previous year.
This summer, visitors spent more on both accommodation and activities. Average expenditure on accommodation increased from €351 to €408, representing a 16 per cent increase, while average spending on activities varied from €20.78 to €21.51 per person, up by 3.5 per cent compared to the previous year.
However, the majority of tourists this summer were locals. More specifically, about 76 per cent of visitors at attractions were from Belgium – 51 per cent of which from Wallonia, 18 per cent from Flanders, and seven per cent from Brussels while international tourists mainly came from the Netherlands (ten per cent), France (six per cent) and Germany (two per cent).
According to StatBel, which provides statistics from Belgium, the number of overnight stays spent in tourist accommodation in the country reached 3.8 million in April.
“The number of overnight stays in April 2022 increased by 120 per cent compared to April 2021 (1,762,642) and by 8,614 per cent compared to April 2020 (44,426), but decreased by three per cent compared to April 2019 (3,985,631),” the press release explains.
At the national level, 41 per cent of overnight stays were recorded in hotels, followed by holiday homes and apartments (20 per cent) and holiday centres and villages (14 per cent).