Share article:
Share article:

Wallonia targets major increase in business tourism

© Belga
© Belga

As Belgium prepares to host one of its greatest sporting events, the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix – Spa Francorchamps, Wallonia’s Tourism Minister, René Collin, said on Tuesday that his region aimed to pursue the development of its Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) Sector, and increase overnight stays there from the present 600,000 to 823,000 by 2023. In Wallonia, the MICE sector has an annual gross turnover of 57.5 million euros in overnight stays alone. Additionally, the average tourist in this sector spends an estimated 97 euros a day.

In 20 years, the sector, which formerly lagged behind in Wallonia, has made great strides, growing annually by about 5.7% and it now accounts for 8% of the region’s tourism supply. At the global level, the MICE sector represents about 14% of tourist reservations.

After creating a specialized office in each province to register and organize the tourism supply in order to boost the sector’s development Wallonia has decided to earmark 1.5 million dollars to enable the non-profit Wallonia Belgium Tourism, WBT, to promote the region’s MICE sector in collaboration with the Wallonia Export Investment Agency, AWEX.

Further, the Government Tourism Advisory Service, CGT, will coordinate the establishment of a network of operators, pool tourist information, pursue the development of the sector and woo investors by creating tools for collecting and analyzing statistics related to business tourism.

Wallonia registers some 7.5 million overnight stays annually in 6,040 tourist lodgings offering a total of some 115,856 beds. The region attracts 10 million visitors in 310 tourist attractions each year. Tourism, which accounts for 6% of the region’s Gross Domestic Product, generates close to 60,000 non-transferable jobs, Collin recalled.

t
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Brussels Christmas Market will once again return on 24 November
It may only be October, but the news that Brussels will get back its Christmas market this year means that seasonal celebrations with Glühwein ...
New coronavirus infections above 3,000 for first time since May
The number of people testing positive for coronavirus has skyrocketed to the highest rate since the start of May 2021. Between 9 and 15 October, ...
Brussels Airport adds 10 flight destinations this winter
Some 130 destinations will be served from Brussels Airport this winter, the company announced on Monday, just a few days before the start of the ...
Brussels pharmacies report rush on rapid tests due to Covid Safe Ticket
Many pharmacists in Brussels have noticed a remarkable increase in the demand for Covid-19 tests this weekend, following the official expansion of ...
Students filmed naked on ULB campus given a warning
A group of students caught on camera mimicking sexual acts on the campus of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) have been issued an official ...
EU Digital Covid Certificate becomes an international success story
The European Commission adopted on Monday a report on the EU Digital Covid Certificate and its implementation across the EU. According to the ...
Belgian chocolatier agrees to $15 million settlement over misled consumers allegations
Internationally recognised Belgian chocolate manufacturer Godiva has reached a $15 million (€12.9 million) settlement after US consumers said they ...
‘Buying second home does not mean you are rich’: government disagrees on tax break
The Francophone liberal MR party and the Flemish socialist Vooruit party strongly disagree on the current scheme for tax benefits on people's second ...
EMA starts evaluating Pfizer vaccine for children over 5 years old
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started evaluating an application to extend the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to children ...
Energy prices: EU’s demand and supply dilemma in importing natural gas
The European Commission adopted last week a plan on how to tackle the rise in global energy prices in the short-term while relying on the transition ...
Tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels’ outskirts to airport
Works on a tram line connecting Brussels, the NATO headquarters and Brussels Airport in Zaventem, which could attract up to 10,000 passengers a day, ...
SKYFALL: European police complete counter-drone training in Antwerp
In a joint project between Belgium’s federal police and the Brussels Capital Ixelles Policing Area, 15 European police officers visited Antwerp to ...