The first month of the summer holidays has proved quite successful for attractions and accommodation in Wallonia, according to a barometer released by the Walloon Tourism Observatory released on Monday. Occupancy rates were 64.5%, an increase of 5.4% on July 2014. The provinces of Liège and Luxembourg saw the highest occupancy rates, at 67% and 70%, Luxembourg enjoying an increase of 12%. Walloon Brabant and Namur province had a less-than-satisfactory month, however, with occupancy rates down 6% and 0.5%.
For holiday villages and centres dedicated to social tourism, July this year was less busy than it was for campsites, for which occupancy rates were up 7% on 2014 figures, reaching 72%.
2015 saw a 15% increase in visits to tourist attractions compared to July 2014. “The great July weather this year, except for the last week of the month,” was good for both inside and outside attractions (13% and 15%). As well as amusement parks, animal parks, caves and water parks, some museums have been very busy, too, the Observatory says. Tourism in Wallonia remains a rather local phenomenon, Dutch-speaking holiday-makers booking the majority of the accommodation in Wallonia (30% Flemish and 30% Dutch). Walloons are the next largest booking group (20%). The Observatory points out that there were 6% fewer Dutch bookings this year, a shortfall made up largely by an increase in Belgian bookings.
The make-up of visitors to the attractions is somewhat different: 47% Walloon (a drop of 11% on July 2014 figures), 20% Flemish, French (up 6%) and Dutch (down 6%).
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)