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1.2 million visit Belgian coast over Easter holidays
Tourist attractions around Belgium have reported excellent results for the Easter holiday fortnight, with the coast alone attracting 1.2 million people.
Regional tourism agency Westtoer said the "beautiful weather" on the coast had been a major boost for visitor numbers.
The second week of the holidays saw the biggest influx of daytrippers to the coast - with the long Easter weekend alone accounting for 375,000 visitors and seaside hotels averaging 85-90% occupancy.
Temperatures in Belgium reached 25°C on Monday, the hottest day of the year so far.
Walibi amusement park reported a record 175,000 visitors over the Easter fortnight, up 20% on the same time last year. The Grottes de Han in Namur province also claimed a 30% increase in Easter visitor numbers.
According to data from travel insurers, growing numbers of Belgians are using the Easter holidays as an opportunity to get away - whether it's within Belgium or to a neighbouring contry.
Didier Ravese from Allianz Assistance said: "In recent years we have seen that Belgians tend to make more, smaller, holidays."
Meanwhile, in Brussels, the Hopla! circus arts festival attracted 13,000 visitors over the second week of the Easter holidays. And thousands visited the Hallerbos, where the purple carpet of bluebells is in full bloom until 1 May.
The sunny weather over the long weekend will give way to clouds and the chance of thunderstorms come Wednesday and Thursday.
Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga