On Friday August 26th, the Belgian provincial tourism office of West Flanders, Westtoer, reported that the tourism sector on the Belgian coast has had a successful summer season.
In July, the number of overnight stays along the Belgian coast rose by 3% compared to July 2021, thanks to hotel bookings and second home residents. According to Belga news agency, some 2.3 million day-trippers chose the Belgian coast as their holiday destination, about a quarter more than in the same period in 2021. July 17th and 24th were exceptional busy days with 140,000 and 145,000 tourists respectively. For the month as a whole, the average hotel occupancy rate was 75-80%, with peaks of 95% or more on hot days.
Spending your summer vacations at the Belgian coast remains a safe bet for many domestic and foreign visitors.Sabien Lahaye-Battheu, president of Westtoer
The highest number in overnight stays was reached during the long weekend of the National Day (21st of July), with between 240,000 and 275,000 booked stays. Saturday July 16th saw a more than 255,000 overnight stays, which is as many visitors as during the summer of 2021. On average, foreign visitors represented 11% of total tourists in July, with Germans being the most numerous foreign guests, followed by the Dutch with an average of 6%.
In July and August together, a total of about 11 million overnight stays were recorded, with an average occupancy rate at hotels of 85%, up 4% on last year.
Foreign visitors from neighboring countries accounted for around 13% of all overnight stays, compared with 11% in 2021, Westtoer reported, while nearly 5 million day-trippers visited the Belgian coast during the two months. The sector also recorded exceptional results during the long weekend of August 15th with 880,000 overnight stays and 400,000 day tourists.
Brussels has also seen an increase in the number of visitors, local and foreign alike. On Monday August 29th, the Atomium welcomed its nine millionth visitor since its renovation in 2006, reports Belgian news outlet BX1. Although the official data on the total number of visitors is not yet available, management feels confident they are as solid as before the pandemic.
“It’s a return to a period that we haven’t seen in a long time. So a great summer and a great year ahead,” said Julie Almau Gonzalez, director of the Atomium. Next year, the Atomium will celebrate its 65th anniversary and all the exhibitions will be renewed.