Some 90.000 visit.brussels passes have been downloaded since the promotion began on 21 July, according to the CEO of the Brussels tourism office, Patrick Bontinck.
The coupons, which entitle their holders to a 40-euro reduction in 120 hotels and tourist attractions in Brussels, will continue to be valid until 21 November, Mr. Bontinck said on Friday.
He was responding to queries on the margins of Brussels Days, an event organised in Paris that enables the Belgian capital’s tourism sector to create recovery opportunities.
The Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) had claimed in mid-September, based on a response to a written question in parliament, that hardly anyone was showing interest in the visit.brussels pass and that the operation had all the makings of a flop.
Visit.brussels, the region’s tourism and cultural promotion arm, issued 100,000 of the 40-euro coupons in July. To be eligible for the promotion, one needs to live more than 50 km from Brussels. The pass can be used in hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, youth hostels, museums and businesses that are partners of the operation.
For N-VA parliamentarian Mathias Vanden Borre, the operation has not been a success. He charged that the amounts spent to benefit from the pass are far less that the cost of the communication campaign around it. Only 57,000 coupons had been downloaded, he said, but under 3% had really been used in July and August.
However, visit.brussels CEO Bontinck countered that one could hardly speak of failure when, according to the most recent data available, about 90,000 of the coupons had been downloaded.
“For the moment, the downloading has thus been a success,” Mr. Bontinck commented. “We’re waiting to see the result for usage, in two months’ time, but by no means can it be termed a failure.”
At least three-quarters of the passes downloaded thus far respect the 50-km limit, according to the visit.brussels CEO. The biggest overseas downloaders have been the French (22%), followed by the Germans.
The Brussels Times