Brussels region is delighted as tourism picks up just as Brussels steps its up efforts

Wednesday, 11 January 2017 15:44
Tourism to Brussels is taking off, as are PR efforts to market the city. Tourism to Brussels is taking off, as are PR efforts to market the city. © Belga
Severely affected by the November 2015 lockdown and the March 2016 attacks, Brussels tourism has picked up in recent weeks.
The Brussels-Capital region is delighted and will crank up its 2017 efforts to promote the capital through a promotional campaign and roadshow across Europe. This will be undertaken by Minister-President Vervoort.

The Brussels tourist sector has been particularly badly affected, owing to the terrorist threat and the Zaventem and Brussels attacks on March 22nd last year.

The hotel and catering and retail trades have particularly undergone a strong stress test.

However the situation has improved in recent weeks, as witnessed by the returned increase in the occupancy rate in Brussels hotels on New Year's Eve (an 85% occupancy rate or 20% more than in 2015). The “excellent results” posted by the 16th Pleasures of Winter festival have also helped.

The Minister-President Rudi Vervoort, quoted in a communiqué, declared, “Tourism is evidently an essential economic factor for the Brussels-Capital region. Recent figures prove that the efforts of local authorities, who were swift to react after the attacks, are starting to bear fruit. However, we must not stop there. We should continue these efforts to enable the sector to regain its full potential.”

So as to “further the trend”, the Brussels region has decided to relaunch a major international campaign to promote the region. This is being financed by the injection of four million euros.

The regional government awarded the organisation of this campaign, resulting from an invitation to tender, to the agency “Wunderman Brussels”. The latter is responsible, in collaboration with Visit.Brussels, for exploiting the Brussels region on the international stage during 2017.

Tailored towards “City Marketing” for the region and spread over a period of six months initially, the promotional campaign may also be offered in the form of international PR, touring the United States, Japan as well as the new emerging countries.

Rudi Vervoort has moreover announced that he intends to tour Europe so as to boast of the merits of Brussels during a “focused roadshow.”

He went on to state, “Intended as much for tourists as investors, students or businessmen, this roadshow will visit Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and Italy.”

Oscar Schneider
The Brussels Times
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