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Ajankohtaista tietoa Belgian matkailusta

Olemme keränneet Suomen matkailuelinkeinolle ajankohtaista tietoa, tilastoja ja muuta hyödyllistä materiaalia Belgiasta matkailumarkkinana.

Current situation

Only essential travel is allowed in and out of the country:
No PRC test needed for arrivals made with car, and the stay is less than 48h. In any other case, passengers must fill out a locator form and provide a negative PCR test that was carried out at the earliest 72 hours before departure from a red zone to Belgium.

The ban for leisure travel is there at least until 18.4.2021

Quarantine rules
Leisure travel is not allowed. For members of the public who return from a red zone abroad, this implies a quarantine of at least 10 days, followed by 4 days of being extra vigilant. Travellers from United Kingdom, South Africa or South America have to quarantine for 10 days and get tested on both the first and seventh day after arrival.

Upon arrival in Belgium from orange or green zones, there are no quarantine conditions. Finland is an orange country, so there is no obligation to quarantine upon arrival back to Belgium. See the list here. 

Flights: Finnair BRU-HEL - 4 x weekly

Consumer behaviour

Travel has not been an option for a while. Belgians would be ready to travel, when travelling is again allowed. The Covid-19 are rising again, and the vaccination process has been slow, only 5% of the population is vaccinated. Uncertainty is similar to the other European markets. At the moment, there is a curfew for the nighttime and one is obliged to wear mask in- and outdoors in public areas.

The real GDP dropped 6,4% in 2020 and is expected to grow 3,5% in 2021. Unemployment is expected to rise from 5,6% to 7,4% from 2019 to 2020. Trust to the market and economic activity is expected to return when the regulations are relaxed, and vaccination rate improves. Seven out of ten people aren't feeling any impact of the crisis on the amount of cash they have to spend, while a minority are being hit in a major way by the corona crisis.

Despite the drop in GDP, seven out of ten people aren't feeling any impact of the crisis on the amount of cash they have to spend, while a minority are being hit in a major way by the corona crisis.

Belgians usually go for a holiday to France, Spain and Holland (Germany and Italy are on the 4th and 5th place). Now, if the travel is not allowed to these countries, they might look for new places to go. Reasons to try a new destination could be: safe and hassle-free travel, interesting activities and beautiful nature.

Consumption behaviors at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic

From January to March 2020, an increasing share of Belgian consumers notably believed it was the right time to save money. Indeed, in March, for the first time in two years, consumers believed it was not a good time to make major purchases. Ultimately, confidence is bound to vary alongside with the consumer's perception of the coronavirus crisis. For instance, in March 2020, sales of certain products such as hand-sanitizers or toilet paper have skyrocketed due to the public's perception of the pandemic. (Statista.com)

Future outlook

Belgium plans to have its citizens vaccinated by mid-July. Therefore travelling might return a the end of summer. Those who saved money during the lockdown, might end up spending in a more luxurious holiday, book unforgettable experiences or special hotels or go to discover a more remote location after spending long times in lockdown.

After the lockdown, sense of freedom, space and nature are likely to be on the top of people's minds. There was even an article in the local newspaper on how to find silence at Belgium (which seemed quite tricky, the country is so densely populated).

Travelling by car is regulated less than other forms of travel, hence car travel might be the first form of travel that returns. Domestic travel and travel to neighboring countries are expected to increase.

Trips will be booked on a short notice because planning does not make sense and the Belgians are more cautious than for example Dutch what comes to travel planning. For example, last year Dutch travelers booked their summer holidays in April, whereas Belgians waited for almost a month more before booking their trips. Due to the perceived risk, group travel is likely to return only later and people would start travelling first with their families, with their partner or with a small group. The cautionary behavior is likely to benefit destinations with less population, smaller cities with rich culture, small and boutique hotels and experiences in the nature.

Summer 2021: If the travel restrictions are released - for both countries, and vaccination rates improve, there could be some travel taking place.

Finland's USP's:
- Space, beautiful nature, aurora borealis, huskies, snow-guarantee (for winter).
- Space, exceptional culture, beautiful nature (summer).

Travel trade update

Belgium already has a rather concentrated market. We do not expect a dramatic change in distribution channels.

Products/regions of interest: Lapland for winter, cottages in Lakeland or in archipelago.

Päivitetty 15.3.

Belgia matkailumarkkinana

Belgialaiset matkustavat mielellään ulkomaille ja arvostavat luontoa, perinteitä ja kulttuuria.

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Edustajamme

Director of Visit Finland (DACH & BENELUX)

Jyrki Oksanen

Saksa, Itävalta, Sveitsi, Alankomaat, Belgia, Luxemburg