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Amid the coronavirus crisis, the Grand-Duchy became a hit among its own residents
Domestic tourism has become a truly viable alternative for the residents of Luxembourg in the context of the coronavirus pandemic – this is what an intermediate evaluation of the season by the Ministry of Tourism concludes.
Although the industry is still in a critical condition, domestic tourism seems to be on the rise and this tendency is here to stay. In this context, the resilience and the innovation of the sector, as well as several coordinated actions at the national level have stopped the dire situation from turning into a complete disaster.
A little push for domestic tourism can give lasting results
On 1st September, upon visiting the Baggerweier site in Remerschen, the Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel and the Minister of Tourism, Lex Delles made the intermediate appraisal of the state of tourism season public. The interim results confirm what is clear to many- the businesses have not yet emerged from the crisis: all paid accommodation, overnight stays, as well as arrivals, have plummeted compared to the first half of 2019.
According to surveys by Luxembourg for Tourism, hotels and campsites recorded cancellations of stays by German and Belgian customers which were partly offset by the loyal presence of Dutch customers and above all by an increase in domestic tourism which seems to be flourishing.
Some 62% of the hotels and even 86% of the campsites surveyed declared that they had welcomed more Luxembourg residents. One of the reasons being the new system of free accommodation vouchers which addressed all residents and frontier workers.
The Ministry of Tourism already sees it as a great success as around 34,000 vouchers for free overnight stays have already been used at 234 different accommodation facilities. Furthermore, the Internet page 100 things to do created as part of the initiative was consulted 309,000 times. The 700,000 vouchers, that were distributed by late July, can be used until 31 December.
Going on a vacation at home
According to the Minister of Tourism, the concept "Vakanz doheem" (vacation at home, from Luxembourgish) and the accommodation vouchers have convinced a great number of residents to consider their country as a real alternative. Now, he continued, it is time for the service providers in the field to retain these new customers and to transform them into ambassadors for Luxembourg as a destination.
On his part, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel expressed his gratitude for the commitment and hard work of the actors in the field of tourism over the past few months. In his words, escaping the daily grind of COVID and being able to do "Vakanz doheem" has allowed us all to remember and rediscover the beauty, serenity and diversity of our country, its landscape and its nature, of which we can be very proud ".
Finally, judging by the growing internet searches for domestic accommodation, the Ministry makes the conclusion that rather than radically changing the preferences of travellers, the pandemic has accelerated existing tourism phenomena. The coming years, the Ministry assumes, will thus be characterized by new opportunities, particularly in terms of digitization, quality, innovative products and personalization.