Louise Derre, VISITFLANDERS
11% more bookings for Belgian tour operators. Fewer car accidents. Less stress and burn-outs for teachers. Pupils who perform better. According to a study by the Vlerick Management School [*] these are a few of the benefits of spreading the holidays in Belgium more effectively. Their study examined the advantages and disadvantages of an alternative holiday calendar. Their proposal? Shorten the summer holiday from 9 to 7 weeks, make the autumn holiday 1 week longer, create 1 week extra holiday in May and ensure that the holidays in Flanders and Wallonia only partially overlap. In the summer holiday, there would be a 3-week overlap; in the autumn holiday, a 1-week overlap. All possible stakeholders were consulted during the study: mobility, education, environment, tourism, healthcare, … Although a few disadvantages were identified, the overall conclusion was that the idea would have primarily positive economic and social effects. Food for thought then?
(*) Commissioned by Thomas Cook Belgium