Belgian Market

All information on this page were found in the document VisitBritain, 2012 - c. See bibliographies.

In 2010, Belgium was the world's 13th most valuable source market.

Size of the market

Belgian population: 10,431,477 people
Belgian population over 50s: over 20% (over 2.5 million)

Visitor profile

  • The Belgian appreciates value for money. He doesn't mind paying as long as he gets the quality he paid for.
  • There are 3 official languages in Belgium (Flemish/Dutch, French, German). Young French-speaking belgians tend to master English better than the elderly because they often prefer English to Dutch as a foreign language at school.
  • well-educated
  • Belgians enjoy a good standard of living

Holiday motivation

  • Rest/recreation
  • Cultural heritage
  • The location's environment
  • Gastronomy
  • City breaks
  • Nature

Barriers for visiting Scotland

Lack of multilingualism

The quality of food and service

Driving on the left hand side

Public transport

Food and drink, and accommodation are all still perceived as expensive

Weather (no guarantee of good weather even in the summer)

Holiday expenditure

Average spent per night: £94
Average spent per trip: £321

Holiday frequency and length

3 to 5 nights per visit.
According to the chart "Journey purpose trend" from VisitBritain, the number of Belgians taking holidays in UK is increasing.

Planning & Booking

How do they book?
In 2010 45% had booked travel or travel packages online, with 36% having booked accommodation and 26% had booked transport tickets. So online booking doesn't seem to be a problem for Belgians.
Belgians use both travel agencies and Internet to book holiday (20% of Belgians) but they generally prefer to organise their holiday individually (45%) (Chart 5.4, VisitBritain, 2012 - c).

- Planning: 1-3 month prior the trip
- Booking: 1 month to 1 week prior the trip

Ways to approach the market

Since there are 3 official languages in Belgium, it is quite hard to reach the whole country at the same time.

  • Social networks
    97% of Belgians know about Facebook. 59% of Belgians are Facebook users. 21% of them are over 55s.
    Twitter is not very used by Belgians but most of Belgians think of creating an account soon. Belgian journalists uses Twitter to collect information for the written press.
  • Internet ads

  •  The choice of the Belgians is also influenced on deals they can get with airline companies.

  • Recommendations (from friends, family or travel agencies)

  • Newspapers (in different languages)
    - Het Nieuwsblad - Dutch-language daily
    - Het Laatste Nieuws - Dutch-language daily
    - Le Soir - French-language daily
    - De Standaard - Dutch-language daily
    - De Tijd - business daily
    - De Morgen - Dutch-language daily
    - La Libre Belgique - French-language
    - Grenz-Echo - German-language

  • Travel publications
    - in Dutch: Pasar, Elders & Anders, Op Stap
    - in French: Voyages, Voyages
    - in both languages: Grande, Touring

  • Travel Trade
    - in both languages: Travel Magazine, Travel Express and Info Travel

Accommodation preferences

  • 3 and 4-star Hotels/Guest houses
  • Free Guest with relatives or friends

Holiday Travel Mode (access to UK)

  • Air: Edinburgh is the 4th destination that Belgians choose when going to UK (about 80,000 passengers a year)
  • Train (tunnel): often used but mainly to go to England
  • Sea: not very used

Popular months for visiting Scotland

April to June

Popular Activities and Areas for Belgian tourists

  • Visiting villages and countryside
  • Highlands and Skye
  • Museums and Art Galleries
  • Castles
  • Visiting parks & gardens
  • Going to restaurants and pubs
  • Walking in the countryside
  • Shopping (souvenirs, clothes, accessories, etc)
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Last edited: 2012-03-12

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