Ostend will again use a registration system for its most popular beaches
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Ostend will again use a registration system for its most popular beaches

Photo from Visit Flanders

Ostend will again implement a registration system this summer to manage the influx of tourists to its three most popular beaches, the city announced Wednesday.

Reservations will be free of charge and only necessary on busy days.

“This summer, thanks to the success of the vaccination campaign, many more things will be possible, but we do take into account that there will still be restrictions,” said Mayor Bart Tommelein (Open Vld).

“The response to our reservation system was very positive last year. We were able to guarantee the respect of social distancing and the resulting feeling of security for the inhabitants of Ostend and visitors.”

As was the case last summer, Ostend residents, second homeowners and day-trippers will have to register to use the most popular beach areas on busy days. This applies to the Klein Strand, the Groeistrand and the Groot Strand.

Registration will not be required for the Thermae Palace area, where holidaymakers will simply be counted and adjustments made if necessary.

The Sand Sculpture Festival will not be held this year, in order to create additional space on the beach.

Ostend, a popular destination for tourists, is the only seaside town that uses such a system.

However, several coastal municipalities control the crowds in their city centres and on the beaches in other ways, such as Blankenberge, which uses the coastline barometer and employs student workers to ensure that the central beach area is evenly distributed.

The Brussels Times