One in four Belgians is planning on going on holiday this year, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll carried out for the Walloon region’s minister for tourism, Valérie De Bue.
However, of those who plan to go away, two in three intend to stay closer to home than usual – within a distance of no more than 200km.
55% of French-speakers and 59% of Flemish people have no intention or almost no intention of going on holiday this summer. Roughly half (43% of French speakers and 52% of Flemish) will be changing their original plans; more than half will stick to the dates already decided.
The decision by two out of three to stay closer to home will be welcome news to the regional tourist offices, hoping that the desire not to travel too far will have a positive effect on the tourism sector in Belgium.
The Walloon tourist board, under De Bue’s authority, says it enjoys a good reputation – 89% approval among French speakers, 81% among the Flemish. As well as Belgians, however, the region scores reasonably well with the Dutch (60%) and the French (49%).
Those who have tried it once are more willing to try it again: 91% of those who have holidayed in the region said they would come back for more.
Among the plus-points mentioned by those polled: walking, towns and villages, natural attractions, organised visits and theme parks.
The poll was carried out among 3,000 people – 800 French-speaking Belgians, 800 Flemish, 800 Dutch and 600 French.