After two years of a sanitary crisis, many Belgian travellers will go on holiday again during these two summer months, according to the booking figures of TUI, the largest tourist group in the country. The number of people leaving in July 2022 is almost the same as in July 2019. The month of August is still slightly behind, but last-minute bookings, which have become a trend since the coronavirus crisis, seem to point to the same development as in July. The chosen destinations and the travel formulas are those from before corona; Spain, Greece and Turkey make up the top three. Hotel resorts and the all-inclusive formula are again popular with families.
After two years of restrictions, the Belgians are aiming this year to rediscover their pre-crisis holiday experience. The months of July-August are therefore characterised by a return to the ‘old’ normal, both in terms of holiday type and destinations. All-inclusive holidays are making a real comeback: no fewer than 7 out of 10 holidaymakers at TUI book an all-in. The only noticeable new trend compared to the pre-corona period is booking late, sometimes even at the very last minute. The often fickle conditions during the pandemic taught the Belgians to remain cautious and that need for certainty still does not seem to have faded. Time will tell whether this trend will continue in the coming seasons.
Spain remains the most popular summer destination for air travel, accounting for 37% of bookings: the Canary Islands (15%), the Costas (13%) and the Balearic Islands (9%) make up the strong trio of the Spanish regions. The Greek islands, which bring in 22% of summer bookings, are more popular than ever. Turkey is regaining its former place with 15% of reservations. The Turkish Riviera, known for its high-quality all-inclusive offer with excellent value for money, is by far the best-booked destination of the entire TUI offer. Its success was further enhanced since March by the unexpected absence of Russian customers, prompting hoteliers to offer large discounts to the Western European market.
In the field of car holidays, the trends are the same as before: France remains the favourite destination, attracting 1 in 3 holidaymakers. Austrian Tyrol remains the most popular destination, just like in 2019. Striking: the third best-booked region is our own Belgian coast. In terms of accommodation, TUI has noticed an important shift towards quality that may cost a little more: no less than 65% of travellers stay in a 4-star hotel.
As far as city trips are concerned, all the popular destinations are in Southern Europe, except for Paris. London was the top spot for many years, but just fell short of the top 5 due to too restrictive health measures and the need to have a passport since Brexit. The situation in Ukraine also has negative consequences for the eastern cities of Prague, Budapest and even Berlin.
Belgians spend on average more during their summer holidays: the average budget for air travel is 1,280 euros per person, 13% more than in 2019. For a car holiday, the average budget is 520 euros per person; no less than 23% higher. An average of 250 euros is paid for a city trip (+ 12%).
Top 5 flight holidays (countries): Spain, Greece, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt
Top 5 Airplane Holidays (Regions): Turkish Riviera, Majorca, Tenerife, Crete, Rhodes
Top 5 car holidays (countries): France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy
Top 5 car holidays (regions): Tyrol, Costa Brava, Belgian coast, Languedoc-Roussillon, Lake Garda
Top 5 city trips: Rome, Paris, Barcelona, ??Valencia, Lisbon