May 28, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Belgians are once again beginning to travel in droves for the Christmas holidays: Spain remains the number one destination |  for travel

Belgians are once again beginning to travel in droves for the Christmas holidays: Spain remains the number one destination | for travel

Despite the red (dark) corona map of Europe, with a few spots of orange here and there, we find our way back outside. With the Christmas holidays approaching, many people are planning a trip within Europe. Traditionally Spain remains in the lead. Also when it comes to ski holidays, we are almost at a pre-corona level. This is evident from the figures of the travel organization TUI.

Although the number of travelers is down 40 percent this Christmas holiday compared to 2019, the travel organization TUI breathes a sigh of relief when compared to its numbers for 2020. The vast majority choose to vacation in Europe. This is not entirely illogical, because our country still advises against non-essential travel to countries outside the European Union. This Christmas, at least 2 out of 3 Belgians choose to stay in the Spanish sun, equally divided between Spain’s Costas and Canary Islands. Ski holidays are also doing well in TUI, with only 9 percent behind the Christmas holidays in 2019. France thus cements its position as a preferred destination for winter sports.

Fully booked flights to non-European countries

In Spain, with the exception of the traveler website form, there are no other requirements or restrictions when returning to Belgium. This may be one of the reasons for its popularity. However, according to TUI, there are also well-occupied flights to popular non-European destinations that have only started again since October. Countries like Turkey, Egypt, Mexico, Cape Verde and the Dominican Republic had a short booking season before the Christmas holidays. The number of flights to these countries was less than two years, but they leave almost completely booked.

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Axamer Lizum Ski Resort in Austria © Getty Images / iStockphoto

France steals a share from Austria

The French Alps already accounted for half of TUI’s bookings in 2019. Through the end of this year, France’s share rose to 65 percent. The French vacation ends during the second week of the Christmas holidays, so there is a high availability in terms of accommodation. So the price will also be lower. Finally, TUI notes that France is gaining additional market share from Austria, which is losing a third of the number of travelers due to the introduction of stricter measures on Corona, such as the temporary closure at the beginning of this month.

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