Belgians still plan to travel

Most Belgians plan to go on holiday again after the corona crisis. It seems we did not loose our appetite to travel. When it comes to 2020, we have become a bit more cautious and will mainly leave in August or during autumn. In general, we look ahead to 2021, but we do plan to depart.

4 times a year, ABTO and the consultancy agency GFK examines the travel intentions of the Belgians for the next 24 months. The results of the latest report give us interesting insights in the travel plans after the Covid-19 crisis.

We present you the main conclusions.

Are we going on vacation this year?

  • 71% of Belgians plan to leave on holiday in the next 12 months, compared to 82% before corona. 1 in 3 prefers to wait until 2021.
  • Those who want to depart in 2020 will mainly do so at the end of August and during autumn. In this way, the peak during the summer holidays shifts somewhat from July to a little later during the summer.
  • Those who do not have travel plans for the next 12 months state the corona virus (33%) as the main reason.
  • For the summer we do not see an immediate increase in the number of last minute bookings (30 days before departure). But there is potential. 14% still want to book last minutes and 22% still have doubts but might consider departing during summer. 

At home or abroad?

  • 14% of Belgians would like to stay in their own country for their next holiday. This shows that outbound travel are still preferred on a holiday in Belgium. Before the crisis, 10% indicated to remain in their own country. There is a shift towards more holidays inside our own country, but it is still quite limited.
  • Which destinations do we prefer?
    •  European destinations on the rise (72% compared to 67% before the crisis)
    • The Netherlands is the strongest climber in the top 3 with 8.09%. France is still in first place with 11.83%. Spain follows in second place with 9.59%.

How do we go on holiday?

  • In general, both bus and air travel are losing ground to car holidays. Even though 39% still opt for the plane, you can see that there is more focus on smaller and regional airports to avoid the masses.
  • 1 in 2 Belgians chooses the hotel, but we also see a shift to campsites or renting a villa, apartment or chalet.
  • We wait a little longer before departing on holiday, but we clearly want to spend more on it. The budget for holidays increases by 11.5% per person as during lockdown a part of the people was able to save more money.
  • Active holidays are on the rise with a lot of walking, running and cycling.

Would you like additional insights from this study or would you like to receive more market information? Do not hesitate to contact us via

Kris Van den Broeck


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