Business booms in Antwerp thanks to Dutch day-trippers
Many entrepreneurs in Antwerp have recently had good business due to the "invasion" of day-trippers from the Netherlands. The Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN) reported that many retailers talked about 20 to 30 percent more turnover than expected.
The Belgian newspaper tried to map out to what extent local shops and catering establishments have benefited financially from the influx of Dutch people. Due to the lockdown, many people from the Netherlands went shopping or dining in Antwerp, which resulted in extra turnover for local entrepreneurs, according to HLN.
"The two-week invasion has made up for everything lost during the pandemic last year," manager of the store 4Geeks told HLN. "During the end-of-year period, we normally have a turnover of 3,000 euros per day. This year we knocked on a daily turnover of 10,000 to 12,000 euros. Thanks for that, Holland," the manager said.
Catering establishments also thanked the Dutch. "I hardly dare to say it, but we have 300 percent more turnover than in a normal month," manager of the café Het Groene Hart said. He saw many more customers than usual. "It's crazy and fantastic at the same time," chair of the Antwerp Hotel Association said. He said people coming from the Netherlands are primarily day-trippers.
Although many entrepreneurs are happy with business from the Dutch, the behavior of the customers from the Netherlands raises eyebrows. "They sometimes refuse to wear masks because they can't breathe properly," the 4Geek manager said. "Then I think: Dude, just go back."
Reporting by ANP