“Now 60 to 65 percent is rented out for the autumn holiday, but before the pandemic they were usually full during that period,” says Peter Lensvelt. Together with his wife Nice and their three sons, they own Finca el Moralejo, a holiday park with apartments and houses near the southern Spanish Málaga.
Peter and Nice traditionally focus on Dutch tourists, but this year it is less Dutch and more Spaniards. Spaniards often stay a little shorter and they often prepare their own food in their accommodation, so that it also generates less money than the Dutch who also come to eat a bite.
Occupancy less than before corona
Marco Kuipers, who has Pension Schwarzwaldblick with his wife and daughter in Hornberg, in the Black Forest in Germany, also sees that the occupation is less than before corona.
Now the boarding house for the autumn break may be half occupied, he says. They have only had the pension for two years, but before corona the pension was often full during the autumn holidays, he knows.
‘We would like to stay in our own country’
The stories of the two entrepreneurs fit in with the picture they see at Heerlijkhuisjes.nl, which mediates in the rental and letting of holiday homes from private individuals in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. “We do see more demand for holiday homes during the autumn holidays compared to 2018 and 2019, when there was no corona yet,” says marketing manager Colien Bloemendal.
“But that is mainly because there is more demand for houses in the Netherlands: an increase of more than 50 percent. The demand for houses in Belgium and Germany is only 5 percent higher. We prefer to stay in our own country.”
At the NBTC (Netherlands Bureau for Tourism & Congresses) they have no comparison figures with the situation before corona, says spokesperson Carlijn Eduard.
“But according to the sentiment monitor of the NBTC in September, their own country remained a popular destination for the Dutch, despite easing in countries around us. “We do expect that holidaymakers will initially go to our neighboring countries later on.”
A little less than before corona
Other Dutch entrepreneurs abroad also say that the number of bookings for the autumn holidays is even less than was the case pre-corona. Alette de Vries, together with her husband Martin, has a holiday park with three holiday homes in the Spanish Andalusia Casa Lobrera. They also rent out a few houses that belong to other people.
Their own holiday homes are rented out during the autumn holidays, but Villa Azar (also with a swimming pool) is still available, while it is normally booked by guests during the autumn holidays, she says.
At Familienhotel Hesborner Kuckuck, van Riet and Jan Stekelenburg, in the German Sauerland, the picture is also divided. “We are fully booked for the first week of the autumn break, but it is still quiet in the second week.