Aqua Sauna Plezier, a private sauna in Essen in Antwerp province, reports even more Dutch custom than usual.
“We are tucked up against the border” says proprietor Maria Van Vliet. “We are used to Dutch customers, but today they are arriving from much further afield than usual. We usually get clients from Utrecht, Rotterdam, and North Brabant, but now we are seeing customers from Amsterdam and beyond. That easily means 90 minutes to 2 hours in the car! That’s quite a drive”.
Marina Gontcharova runs a family sauna in Kalmthout. “At Espace we’ve been getting more and more Dutch customers since lockdown. Not just from the border area, but also from Amsterdam: two ladies yesterday. They booked a hotel in Antwerp too!”
Maria Van Vliet says her customers often turn it into quite a day out in Antwerp: “It’s a godsend for retailers, though the governor will be less impressed. You know, at the minute, there’s not much doing in the Netherlands”.