What are the prospects for 2024?

Last year was a banner year for the travel sector. What are the anticipations for 2024? Some take-aways from the latest NBTC research

Last year consumers in the Benelux undertook close to 60 million holidays. With this number, we leave the corona dip behind us. Inflation has not kept us at home. So what does it look like for 2024? We included the latest study material and sentiment research from NBTC for the Belgian and Dutch markets.

85% want to go on holiday and tends to book earlier

Just as many Belgians as Dutch plan to go on holiday this year, about 85%. Of those who plan to travel, 29% had already made their booking in December 2023. This means that in both markets bookings are being made earlier than last year.

Mainly short holidays

The share of holidays of 4 to 7 nights accounts for the majority of trips with 35% in the Netherlands and 39% in Belgium. Followed by holidays of up to 15 nights. We travel an average of 2.4 times a year, but those holidays are quite short in duration. The need to take a break several times a year and recharge the batteries is therefore clearly high. Rising prices also have an impact on the length of stay during our holidays.

Less in our own country

The number of holidays in our own country continues to decline. Only 20% of Dutch people plan a holiday in their own country compared to 27% the year before. For Belgians, the share of trips within Belgium also drops from 18% to 15%. We mainly want to go on holiday elsewhere in Europe. In the Netherlands we see more solo travelers wanting to travel outside pf Europe. They prefer to go to Asia.

Taking the plane back on track

At 48%, the plane is once again the preferred means of transport for our holidays. Although the car remains popular in both the Netherlands and Belgium. However sustainability is becoming more important, the train as transport method will not take a bigger chunk out of the market for the time being. In Belgium take the train to the holiday destination is declining, while in the Netherlands the train rises slightly from 5% to 8%.

Sustainability and extreme weather

We think it is important to take into account the impact of our trips on the environment, but we are also particularly concerned about possible extreme weather at the destination and rising prices. These factors influence our travel behavior more than, for example, concerns about war situations. We seem to be adapting more quickly to geopolitical tensions.

AI tools such as ChatGPT as a source of inspiration

About 30% of Belgians and Dutch have used an AI tool and about a third of users have already looked for some inspiration for their next holiday via ChatGPT. The younger the audience, the more they already know and apply AI Tools and applications.

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