The Bruges city council will no longer advertise the city in hotels in other major Belgian cities after concerns that the current levels of tourism are unsustainable, and bad for the city.
There are more than enough tourists coming to Bruges already, said Alderman of Tourism Philip Pierins (sp.a), reports HLN. “Most of them are day tourists. Of course, we shouldn’t ask them not to come or say that it’s too busy here. But we shouldn’t do any extra advertising for Bruges at the moment,” he added.
According to Pierins, it is enough that the city is already well known and there is also a lot of information to be found online.
Each year about nine million tourists visit the historic centre of Bruges, according to 2017 calculations, eclipsing the resident population of just under 20,000, amounting to around 126 visitors per day per 100 residents.
The council intends to stop extra advertising for foreign tourists in hotels in, for example, Brussels or Ghent to help stem the number of tourists. Agreements have also been made with the port authority to have a maximum of two cruise ships moored at the same time, while in practice this can easily be four or five.
In the past, mayor Dirk De Fauw (CD&V) had already noted that the city is wary of the possible disadvantages of so much tourism.
The Brussels Times