The Belgian coast recorded about three percent more overnight stays this summer than in the summer of 2020, according to Westtoer, the autonomous provincial company for tourism and recreation in West Flanders that tracks such data.
And despite the record-breakingly dreary weather this summer, the number of day trips to the sea was on par with last year’s.
The coast saw nearly 4 million tourists in the summer of 2021, Westtoer reported.
Camping sites, coastal hotels and the holiday homes sector recorded good figures.
With approximately 12 million overnight stays, the residential tourism sector is doing slightly better than last summer, when coronavirus-related restrictions put a damper on travel.
August in particular is faring better this year: despite the generally poorer weather, more Belgians have opted for a holiday by the sea.
Coastal hotels recorded higher occupancy rates, with peaks of 85 and even 95 percent.
The online hotel bookings of 153 coastal hotels indicated a better summer holiday season compared to the summer months of 2020, mainly due to a strong increase in domestic bookings.
In terms of international bookings, Germans were once again accounted for the highest proportion of foreign tourists.
An upward trend in the rental of holiday homes through letter agencies in the summer of 2020 continues in the summer of 2021.
Almost all such agencies recorded nearly full occupancy between mid-July and mid-August.
By the end of August, the sector is expected to reach an occupancy rate of 75 to 80 percent.
Peak days were 21 July with just over 160,000 day tourists flocking to the coast, followed by Sunday 18 July with 140,000 day tourists and Thursday 12 August with 130,000 day tourists.
The Brussels Times