With airport chaos putting many people off the idea of getting on a plane this summer, Belgian newspaper Le Soir, in reference to data published by holiday home rental website Belvilla, has reported a surge in interest for local holidays and trips.
The Covid-19 pandemic led to a massive resurgence in 'staycations' – when Belgians opt to take vacations closer to home. As demonstrated by the massive queues and logistical issues at European airports, travellers this year have booked a record amount of holidays abroad.
But now, with international air travel becoming increasingly difficult, with cancellations and delays on the rise, Belgians are again looking closer to home for their holiday plans. In the past two weeks, 57% of holiday home reservations made by Belgians were for accommodation within Belgium.
Those opting to travel abroad are staying closer to home: 15% of bookings were made for properties in France, followed by other neighbouring countries, such as the Netherlands and Germany.
Belgian holidaymakers are flocking to Wallonia’s scenic Ardennes area: 41.7% of bookings made through the Belvilla platform were in the Belgian province of Luxembourg. An additional 25.5% were for the province of Liège, and another 13.9% for the province of Namur.
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Outside of Belgium, data shows that Belgians are still charmed by the warm climate and beautiful scenery of France’s south-eastern region of Provence. The number of bookings made for Languedoc-Roussillon reached record highs this summer. Some 20.9% of trips booked outside of Belgium were made for this region.
Belgium’s rural beauty is attracting much more than just locals. Tourists from the Netherlands are increasingly choosing Belgium over locations such as France, Austria, or Germany. On the Belvilla website, Belgium is now the most booked destination for Dutch travellers this summer.
For Dutch tourists, Belgium is easy to reach by car and is linguistically accessible. In other words, Belgium is proving to be a go-to destination for stress-free travel.