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Belgian ski resorts welcome influx of visitors

08:36 23/01/2024

Belgium’s ski resorts reported a bustling – and at times crowded – weekend following the recent snowfall in the country.

It is estimated that up to 20,000 people visited the snowier regions over Saturday and Sunday.

The Baraque de Fraiture in Luxembourg province in particular saw enough visitors to warrant enacting special traffic and parking measures, RTBF reports.

According to resort manager Julie Léonard, between 3,000 and 3,500 people were already present at the end of the morning on Saturday, with all car parks full by 11.00.

“Some people have been queuing for one and a half hours in the hope of hiring cross-country skiing equipment, because there's nothing left for downhill skiing,” RTBF journalist Michaël Menten reported.

Although authorities were expecting crowds to head for the slopes, the situation was unprecedented for a Saturday morning.

“It's never been seen before,” Waimes mayor Daniel Stoffels said in the morning. “Ovifat is already saturated and the Hautes Fagnes plateau should be very soon.”

An estimated 20 centimetres of snow fell in the more mountainous region of Belgium, drawing winter sport enthusiasts.

“A lot of people want to make the most of these moments, which is quite normal,” Stoffels said, noting that once capacity is reached new visitors are directed to neighbouring communes.

This is because some of the sites are designated for eco-tourism and therefore protected from oversaturation.

Despite the crowds, no major incidents have been reported.

Written by Helen Lyons