Belgians have no fear of going on holiday and are not, consequently, cancelling their planned trips, whether arranged for some while or a last-minute deal. This is so, despite the potential terrorist threat, the tour operators indicated to Thomas Cook and Jet Air to the Belga press agency.
Florence Bruyère, the spokeswoman from Jet Air explained, “We are not seeing any nervousness on the part of Belgians for going abroad.”
She went on, “The months of July and August are vital for families who absolutely wish to go on holiday, having already booked everything. The average Belgian is anxious to have his holidays and the need to go away is very much in evidence.”
However, change is evident in the choice of destinations, to the detriment of the Maghreb countries, “although departure numbers to Morocco are taking off.”
“Although Turkey remains the third most popular country,” it is nevertheless recording fewer reservations than last year, and 63% of holidaymakers are, all the same, choosing Spain and Greece.
Moreover, Belgium prefers flying to other forms of transport. The airline Jetairfly is thus carrying, this summer, more passengers than last year. It is the same story for Thomas Cook, since the terrorist threat has had no effect on tour operator reservations, “both when holidays have been booked sooner, as much as later.”
“Even after the Istanbul attack at the end of June and despite having offered alternatives to travellers, there were only a minimum number of cancellations,” stressed the spokesman Koen van den Bosch. “We are effectively seeing a change in destinations which is linked to the geopolitical climate.
Evidently, trips to Tunisia have fallen, with consumer loyalty this year transferring to Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria or even Macedonia. This is, however, due to advice not to travel to certain destinations,” he further explained.