Travel trends and figures: from booking to destination
The relaxed corona measures are causing Belgians to book holidays again. According to ABTO's Travel Trends, the number of travellers already exceeded 1 million for the month of March. Also for the coming months, figures are expected that are increasingly in line with pre-corona bookings. But what travel habits do Belgians have in 2022? Is the impact of the pandemic still visible? Which destinations are popular? What do we like to do on holiday? Thx.agency lists the most important travel trends.
Change in booking behaviour
Firstly, Belgians book differently than before the pandemic. They more often choose to book their accommodation without transport. The booking figures of accommodations with transport are more than 10% lower than in pre-corona times. We also book online more frequently (68% compared to 65% before corona). Furthermore, it seems that we’re looking for something extra this year. Belgians seem to have saved their money for 2022 as holiday spending is higher than in previous years.
Last-minute holidays have become increasingly popular
Lastminutes have always been popular with Belgians, but they have gained even more importance in recent years. Last-minute holidays do not only allow us to score interesting deals, but they also respond to current holiday needs. After all, due to the corona measures, uncertainty and the need for flexibility played an important role. Families are also increasingly planning last-minute holidays during the shorter school holidays. As an "in-between" holiday is quickly arranged without losing any time. However, it is better not to book your rental car equally last minute, because the shortage results in a smaller range and higher prices.
Travel at your own pace
We like to be in control when we’re on holiday. We want to travel at our own pace and preferably close to nature. Therefore, we seek refuge in new forms of transport. Flemings rediscovered the advantages of camper vans resulting in an increase of 36% in purchased campers. Bicycle tours are also on the rise: from bikepacking to cycling holidays with luggage transport. Similarly, slow tourism is a continuing trend as well. It allows you to stay at a destination for a longer time and to really get to know it. Finally, flights are becoming more popular again, although the bookings are still lower than pre-corona. In addition to the aftermath of the pandemic, there are also ecological and social considerations behind this slow rise.
Experience and self-care are central
More and more Belgians dream of unique experiences, special accommodations, or thematic trips. From spending the night on the water, in tree houses to glamping concepts: we are looking for special places to stay. Small-scale and personalised holiday homes, family hotels and B&Bs are also more appreciated. In addition, holidays are increasingly becoming a way for Belgians to take care of themselves. Under the motto a healthy mind in a healthy body, they seek refuge in quiet areas, yoga retreats, wellness holidays or mindfulness trips.
Nearby and long-haul destinations
The pandemic also had a great impact on our choice of destinations. We rediscovered that there are many interesting cities and beautiful nature close by. Even now, when travelling to further destinations is possible again, the short, snackable holidays nearby are here to stay. Within Europe, France, Austria, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands are the preferred holiday destinations. For long-haul travel the USA, Egypt, Turkey, Canada and the Caribbean are the frontrunners.
We prefer to travel in the company of family or friends. The lack of social interaction during the lockdowns has increased the need for social contact. We want to experience new activities and make memories together with our loved ones. Multigenerational or 3G trips are an excellent answer to this and will therefore remain important in 2022.
Active holidays are on the rise
When travelling, Belgians have various activities on their agenda. A positive consequence of the pandemic, for example, is that we have rekindled our love for cycling and walking. That is why, we also like to explore our destination on foot or by bike. In addition, Belgians prefer to plan a visit to the beach. Going swimming is also on top of the list. For real bon vivants, tasting the local cuisine is a must, as is a cultural trip and a visit to a cosy town or village.