The Belgian travel market is growing

Various studies confirm it. The Belgian travel market has grown in the past 2 years. And if you look at the next travel intentions, it also looks good for 2020. More and more Belgians are going on holiday. Those holidays are generally shorter but more frequent throughout the year. Some of the biggest increases are noted during various school holidays weeks outside of the summer break. Escaping to the sun for Christmas, a city trip during one of the long weekends in the spring, winter sports during carnival week or a long haul trip at Easter. These are just a few examples of reasons to travel.

Not all studies are clear when it comes to the right numbers, but the trend is the same everywhere. For Belgian families, holidays are a valuable part of life.

Belgian government study agency, StatBel

The total number of trips by the Belgian population increased by 1.8 million (10%) between 2017 and 2018. The research of the Belgian statistics bureau concludes that in 2018 Belgians made a total of 20.5 million trips of at least one night. 12.5 million trips were more than 4 nights. In those cases, 5% of the trips were for professional reasons. When it comes to trips of a shorter duration, about 11% of them were work related. 

Growth continued in 2019

On January 8, ABTO (the Belgian Federation of Tour Operators) presented the figures of their travel research in collaboration with the GFK study agency. That survey questions 750 Belgians every month about their travel behavior and booked vacations.

During the summer of 2019, Belgians departed on 14.3 million holidays. That is a growth of 9% compared to 2018.

And it looks like we will continue to quench our travel thirst in 2020. This is clearly reflected a new study by ABTO in which the travel intentions for the coming 12 months will be assessed 4 times a year. 83% of the respondents already expressed their intention to go on holiday. 42% will take the plane, 37% the car, 7% the bus and 6% the train.

The 6% for the train does not seem much, but there is a clear growth in the market. Growing climate awareness and the arrival of new initiatives such as the night train to Vienna will undoubtedly make traveling by train more popular in the coming years.

Kris Van den Broeck


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