The Easter holiday has been a disappointment for hotels on the Flemish coast. Industry organisation Kusthotels says that for the hotels that opened most did not make a profit. Many hotels preferred to stay shut. Some did well filling available rooms, but many stayed under 50% room occupancy levels.
The poor weather, especially during the first week, put off many people, but the restrictions that apply this Easter are the main reason why hotels didn’t do well. The travel ban meant foreign tourists could not visit.
West Flemish tourist authority Westtoer saw how many Belgians and Belgian residents travelled to the coast for a stay of one week or longer. “Even during a changeable Easter break the cost remains the favourite holiday destination of Belgians” says Westtoer chair Sabien Lahaye-Battheu.
Overnight stays in holiday lets were up 15 to 20% this Easter. Between 90% and 100% of holiday lets were rented out. Holiday homeowners descended on the coast en masse too his Easter.
The improvement in the weather means a surge in last minuet bookings, especially at camp sites. Bookings for the summer are already numerous.
It’s a sign of the times, but with many of us working from home, Westtoer also reports quite a few people are renting accommodation at the coast to work from there for a week or two. Bookings are being made during the holidays, but also out of season.