More and more Belgians are convinced that the (night) train is the ideal mode of transport for trips abroad. According to the Federal Mobility and Transport Agency’s survey, most travelers consider the train the perfect solution for a trip to Paris, London, or other popular European destinations like Amsterdam, Berlin, and Vienna.
In the proper order, the top five most popular destinations for Belgians are London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Vienna. More than 60% prefer the train or night train for long-distance trips, mainly to reduce their ecological footprint. The only limiting condition is that such a trip is practicable and affordable. Otherwise, the car remains the most popular means of transport for travels abroad.
Last year, 58% of Belgian citizens traveled abroad, while 42% didn’t cross any border. Almost 80% of Belgians – 78% to be precise – traveling abroad used their car, and more than one out of three (35%) traveled by plane. The train sits in third place: 13% of respondents opted for the train for most of their trips.
The main arguments for opting for the car are flexibility and comfort. Those covering large distances and preferring fast travel times usually prefer to fly. Still, more and more Belgians recognize that the (night) train is an ideal travel solution to cover long distances and, at the same time, limit their negative ecological impact. For many city trips, the high-speed train is the perfect alternative.
Despite the corona health crisis, Belgian citizens kept traveling for private or professional purposes. The train is increasingly popular, and night trains go down well with today’s travelers because you board in the evening, sleep in a proper bed, and wake up in the morning in another world.
The survey was organized for the first time in May 2020 and questioned 3 000 respondents about their travel behavior. The same study was repeated in November 2021 by market research and polling agency Ivox to discover the impact of the health crisis on people’s travel behavior.