The month of July was very positive for the tourism sector on the Belgian coast, reported the tourist office of West Flanders, Westtoer, on Friday.
To escape the record temperatures observed throughout Europe, Belgian and foreign holidaymakers flocked to the beaches of the Belgian coast, and the number of overnight stays rose by 3% compared to July 2021, thanks to holiday bookings and second homes.
In July, some 2.3 million day-trippers took to the coast – about a quarter more than in the same period in 2021. Sundays 17 and 24 July, with their blazing sun and warm temperatures, were exceptional days for excursions, with 140,000 and 145,000 day-tourists respectively.
For the month as a whole, the average hotel occupancy rate was 75-80%, with peaks of 95% and more on hot days. The same levels can be seen in the holiday home and campsite sectors.
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The peak in holiday bookings was for the long weekend of the National Holiday, with between 240,000 and 275,000 overnight stays per day. The other big winner was the weekend of 16 and 17 July, with more than 255,000 overnight stays on Saturday, which is as many stay-over tourists as at the peak times in the summer of 2021.
Additionally, many international holidaymakers also chose Belgium as their holiday destination: on average they represented 11% of the tourists in July, with Germans being the most numerous foreign guests, followed by the Dutch with 6% on average.
For the upcoming weekend of 30 and 31 July, non-Belgian tourists account for 38% of bookings.