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Travel abroad prohibited: the rush to the Ardennes lodges at carnival

As since the start of the pandemic, Belgians are adapting when new measures are applied. Last Friday, the consultation committee decreed a ban on travel abroad, except for very specific cases. If the skiers had lost hope of seeing the ski lifts put into operation in France, there were many who hoped to be able to get a change of scenery.

They will therefore have to be content with Belgium during the carnival holidays, and the message seems to have passed, especially on the Flemish side. Thus, the Ardennes-Etape accommodation reservation site indicates that the vast majority of its 1,200 homes have already found a taker. Most of them are customers from the north of the country who also benefit from the week of “cooling off” decreed in Flemish schools. As a reminder, all the courses will be given remotely to slow down the epidemic and the new variants.

As for the Gîtes and Bed and Breakfast in Wallonia, we are also celebrating, even if there is still more availability. “We feel that people are turning to lodgings, but our occupancy rate is “only” 60% for the moment., explains Khevyn Torres, spokesperson for the group. But we clearly expect an increase in bookings in the coming days given the ban on going abroad.

A situation which is therefore positive, as was already the case during the summer, the All Saints holidays and those of Christmas. “Indeed, but it is also necessary to put in the balance the deposits of large capacity which do not benefit from these new measures because of the very small bubble which remains in force until March 1st., he recalls. Some owners lower their prices to accommodate families of 5, 6 or 7 people, but this must obviously remain profitable. For some, it is better to stay closed than to rent at a loss.

And when it comes to the Easter holidays, reservations are still shy. “It is estimated that 20% of homes are already rented, he says. The Easter holidays are still far away and people are especially waiting for the next measures that will be put in place. As since the start of the crisis, reservations are mainly made at the last minute. Even if the owners are very flexible in terms of repayments and postponements, the Belgians prefer not to commit money too quickly.

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