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Belgians took 76% fewer trips last year

Credit: Pikrepo

The coronavirus pandemic and its related lockdowns had a massive effect on travel both within and outside of the country, according to figures released from Statbel on Thursday.

Belgians took 76% fewer business and holiday trips in 2020, compared to the year before.

The biggest drop off came predictably in March, when the first coronavirus lockdown began. Just a couple months later, in the second half of May, trips began to increase slightly again, but nowhere near 2019 numbers.

Graphic from Statbel

The summer saw Belgians take 5 million trips in July and August, but this was still a 28% decrease over the same period for the year before, and most trips for 2020 (62%) were domestic ones.

Another sharp decrease came with the second lockdown.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, around three quarters of end-of-the-year excursions were to destinations outside of Belgium, but in December 2020 there were 88% fewer trips abroad compared to 2019.

The decrease in the number of business trips was even sharper than the decline in holiday or other personal trips – those were 83% lower in the last part of 2020.