Foreign bookings slumped by half in Flanders last summer

The number of overnight stays booked by people in Belgium in Flanders during July and August shot up by 32% as more and more people decided to holiday within our borders.  Bookings by foreign guests fell by half figures from the Flemish tourist agency Toerisme Vlaanderen show.

In July the number of bookings made by people in Belgium rose by 37% in comparison with the previous year.  For August the figure was up 27%.  The figure for September too is promising: up 40% so far this month!

The coast, green areas like Limburg and some art cities like Bruges performed well on the domestic market.  Other art cities and destinations favoured by foreign visitors faced a big drop in custom.  After corona measures were tightened up at the end of July both domestic and foreign bookings for Antwerp were significantly down.

Flemish tourism minister Zuhal Demir (nationalist): “When the corona crisis broke we decided to concentrate all our efforts on the domestic market.  It’s an approach that worked.  The people of Flanders opted en masse for a holiday in our own country.  In most areas this made up for any drop in foreign demand.”

“Foreign tourists are still staying away” she warned.  “In the art cities the accommodation sector is still riling.  The second wave didn’t help.  This is why it’s so important that we continue our efforts to show potential visitors the trump cards of Flanders.”

Toerisme Vlaanderen estimates that the tourist sector in Flanders and its capital Brussels lost out to the tune of 11 billion euros in the months March to August.  

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