10 per cent drop in overnight stays at Belgian coast over Easter
Hotels on Belgium's coast recorded 10 per cent fewer overnight stays this Easter weekend than during the same period last year, according to figures released on Monday by provincial tourist body Westtoer. The number of day-trippers was similar to last year, at 300,000.
The spring weather over the Easter weekend led to an increase in last-minute bookings with a total of 450,000 overnight stays at the coast. On Saturday night, the hotel occupancy rate reached 85 per cent. However, the number of bookings over the whole weekend was 10 per cent lower than during the Easter weekend last year.
“The Easter weekend 2022 was really exceptional, with lots of sunshine and temperatures exceeding 17 degrees,” says Sabien Lahaye-Battheu, president of Westtoer.
The new holiday regime in French-speaking Belgium means the spring vacation there is later than the Flemish Easter holidays, running from 29 April to 14 May.
“The fact that the holidays are staggered certainly plays a role in these slightly lower occupancy figures," says Lahaye-Battheu. "The new holiday schedule allows the holidays to be spread out more evenly along the coast, which is a good thing because it means we can offer more quality. But it is also a challenge. Beach activities have to be spread out more and the hotel and restaurant sector also has to recruit staff in May."
#FlandersNewsService | Ostend, Belgium © BELGA PHOTO KURT DESPLENTER