Tourism continues to grow in Brussels


In 2012  the Brussels Capital Region bucked the economic downturn and attracted more than 3 million visitors providing local hotels with some 6 million overnight bookings. This performance is on a par with 2011, a year that saw a 7.5% increase over 2010.

Belgians continue to account for a large percentage of the people filling the hotels (20%), followed by the French, English, German and Spanish. The city is also experience growing numbers of visitors from Russia (up 30%, Japan (+30%), Brazil (+15%) and China +10%).

VISITBRUSSELS, the tourism department, notes that the first quarter of 2013 has seen a higher degree of occupancy than during the first three months of 2012 which bodes well for the summer tourist season.

“Brussels – a quality destination”

The mail pull for visitors is believed to be the cultural and historical heritage (30%).

The “UNESCO” heritage site of the Grand’Place is the top draw for all customer segments and all ages. Architecture/Art Nouveau comes next, except for those over 60 years, who prefer to visit museums.

Brussels’ reputation as a comic strip hub, helps attracts visitors aged between 18 and 40.

The success of the “Brusselicious” theme year has undeniably helped boost visitor numbers.

“Brussels has managed to steer a path through the crisis and maintain stability in hotel bookings,” stresses Christos Doulkeridis, Brussels’ Minister of Tourism.”The impact of the image of the gastronomic year and its many international repercussions has certainly contributed to the buoyancy of the tourism trade and goes to show how important it is for Brussels to forge ahead with other campaigns of this type to boost Brussels’ image abroad.”

“It is reassuring to note,” he says, “that, in terms of quality, Brussels is a prime destination. 82.5% of visitors to Brussels consider that the experience lives up to their expectations. Other extremely positive points are that 84% of them want to come back and would recommend the destination to family and friends.”