Belgians travelled en masse during the first three months of 2022, Statbel calculated. After having to suspend their travel plans for almost two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a significant upturn in early 2022.
Belgians made more than 4 million trips in the first quarter of 2022. They made 27% more trips in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the average for the first quarters of 2016-2019.
- 46% more trips within Belgium, of which +79% to the coast;
- 21% more trips abroad, of which +51% to France but -6% outside the European Union;
- 33% more holiday trips.
However, there were still 26% fewer business trips compared to the same period in 2016-2019. Some business trips may be permanently replaced by online meetings.
The graph below clearly shows how Belgians adjusted their travel behaviour during the COVID-19 crisis and steadily increased their travel from the beginning of 2021 onwards.
What is Statbel?
Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, collects, produces and disseminates reliable and relevant figures on the Belgian economy, society and territory.
The collection is based on administrative data sources and surveys, the production is carried out in a scientific manner and with respect to quality, and statistics are disseminated on time and in a client-friendly manner.
The privacy, the protection of confidential data and the use of data only for statistical purposes are guaranteed throughout this process.
Some thoughts on these stats
These numbers are no surprise. People want to travel, to break with the routine. It’s also no surprise people stayed within Belgium and travelled to the coast. The Belgian coast is a popular destination. It dies show though many Belgians seem to lack imagination regarding domestic travel. It’s one of the major flaws we identified earlier.
France has always a popular destination. France has everything: culture cities, great food, a variety of landscapes, beaches, mountains, the Champagne region. And it’s not too far and many Belgians speak French.
That many stayed within the EU is also no surprise. There was and is still a risk countries decide to take coronavirus countermeasures and staying within the Union offers protection, security and peace of mind.
- The Major Flaws of domestic tourism in Belgium.
- Discovering Belgium and the Netherlands in COVID times.
- Will COVID-19 be the End of Business Class?.
- The world of travel and planning after coronavirus COVID-19.
- Balancing travel enthusiasm and the reality of the coronavirus crisis.
- Skam or being shamed for going outside.