2020 roundup: Travel Insights on Belgian & Dutch market
The corona crisis had its highs and lows, travelers and accommodation owners followed the fluctuating situation closely. As the new year has already begun, time to take stock: was 2020 a year of many setbacks for the hospitality industry? Or where there moments of hope?
1.To travel or not to travel?
To travel or not to travel? It’s a constant balancing act that travel enthusiasts had to make in 2020. Due to government restrictions on traveling, success periods alternated with less pleasant ones. Bookings peaked during the summer months, but with the 2nd corona wave in autumn, a lot of accommodations owners immediately saw a drop in the number of bookings. Both Belgium and the Netherlands followed the same curve.
* January = reference point
2. A short trip or a long break?
In Belgium, travelers preferred a slightly longer stay during the first Corona lockdown. This peak is less pronounced in the Netherlands. During the second half of the year, both Belgians and Dutch opted for shorter trips, they booked only 1 or 2 consecutive nights at the same accommodation. It is remarkable that the favorable travel situation during summer (previous graph) had no effect on the average length of stay. Both in Belgium, as well as the Netherlands, we see the same short trip trend in 2020.
3.The price tag?
The peak during the first lockdown aside, both Belgian and Dutch accommodation owners didn’t raise or lower their prices. In the second half of the year, we see a stable curve and pricings equal to the "normal" averages of early 2020.
4. Last-minute or early booked?
During the first wave, when the Coronavirus boomed, accommodations in Belgium were mainly booked for autumn 2020. Belgians were not convinced it would be safe already to travel in summer. During the summer months, thanks to a positive travel climate, more people decide to book a last-minute trip after all. Hence the shorter time between booking date and arrival date. In the Netherlands, travelers were more optimistic and booked their summer trips already during the first wave.
Last-minute trips (booked not earlier than 30 days before arrival) rise in summer and remain popular in autumn, due to the second corona wave. At the end of the year, we see the curve increasing again, which means people dare to make long term plans again. In this the vaccination campaigns probably play a role.
5. Local Tourism: short-term hype or lasting trend?
Both Belgians and Dutch have discovered the beauty of staycations. Although “destination: own country” might have been the only option to have a break during travel ban, this new trend seems to be a keeper. Local tourism is still increasing at the end of 2020. Curious to see whether travelers will choose local destinations in 2021!