Around 4,000 festival-goers en route to the music festival Tomorrowland in Boom (in the Antwerp province) partied hard yesterday (Thursday) between 3.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m., in the Grand-Place de Bruxelles, which was partly closed for the occasion. A DJ had set up on the balcony of the Maison du Roi (where the Museum of the City of Brussels is located). Nearly 20,000 people are anticipated to be overnighting in Brussels hotels for the festival. This is per an estimate by Rodolphe Van Weyenbergh, the Secretary General of the Brussels Hotels Association (BHA).
Of the 180,000 individuals attending the 12th Tomorrowland festival from Friday to Sunday, some 19,000 travellers hopped over to Belgium on a Global Journey package. Between them they helped to fill 133 flights, for nearly 15,000 of them, as well as some 30 trains.
It is the second back-to-back year that Brussels has participated in the “Belgian Journey”. Its 4,000 visitors found time to visit the Vaudeville Theatre, taste the Belgian beers and party on the Grand-Place. Last year, the DJs set up on the Place de la Bourse.
The hotel sector was ready to welcome festival-goers. “Overall, Tomorrowland is likely to generate, in three days, nearly 20,000 overnight stays in Brussels hotels,” estimates Rodolphe Van Weyenbergh, as indicated above. He goes further saying, “The ‘Belgian Journey’ provides an excellent opportunity to drive customer loyalty.”
The Brussels Alderman for Tourism, Philippe Close, backs the idea that this type of event constitutes a “good shop window” for Brussels leisure tourism, especially following the Brussels attacks. “Both this collaboration and the economic spinoffs which it provides prove that Brussels is increasingly positioned as a ‘City Trip’ destination.”