Belgium Tourism Statistics
Belgian tourism suffered a major setback in November 2015 and then again on 22nd March because of the attacks. Tourism kept low till the end of the summer, after which it started regaining in October most probably because of business.
The number of tourist arrivals in Belgium rose from 11.8 million in 2006 to almost 15.8 million in 2015, which dropped to 15.2 million in 2016.
Talking about the international tourists to Belgium, the number of international tourist arrivals at accommodation establishments in 2015 was around 8.35 million international arrivals at accommodation establishments in Belgium. In 2016, the number of international arrivals amounted to approximately 7.5 million
Most of the foreign tourists to Belgium arrive from Netherlands and France which separately contributed to more than a million tourists in 2014. They were followed by United Kingdom followed by Germany and the USA.
Leading places to visit in Belgium are Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Flanders, Tournai and many more.
Looking at the purpose of travel, almost 42% of tourists arrived for Leisure travel as compared to 58% for business travel in 2016.
Almost 96% of the tourists stayed in hotels, 3.5% stayed in youth accommodation while only 0.5% stayed in guest rooms.
Month wise data break up shows a fall in the number of professional trips during the months of July and August while showing an increase in leisure trips during the same months.
In 2016, Brussels became the first destination for the organization of international congresses and meetings worldwide. This position is connected to the city’s status as the capital of Europe but also comes from the quality of the infrastructure and services on offer for organizers.
In the year 2016, Brussels stood first in the number of international associations gathering counting to a total of 906 gatherings in the year. Brussels was followed by Singapore (888), Seoul (526), Paris (342) followed by Vienna (304).
Numerous fairs are organized in Brussels, both for professionals and the general public. These events take place, more often than not, at Brussels Expo.
Brussels has an exceptional cultural offer. Visitors and inhabitants can enjoy 120 diverse museums and attractions, some of which have become symbols for the whole of Belgium.
The Brussels Card, in its current format, was launched in mid February 2015. It gives holders:
• Free access to 30+ museums
• Discounts to tourist attractions
• Discounts in museum restaurants, bars…
• Discounts in Brussels shops
In 2016, a total of 8,868 were purchased (about 39% less than in 2015).
Belgium’s largest airport welcomes both passenger and cargo flights. It has three runways and flies to almost every continent. It is notably one of the main ways to reach central Africa from Europe.
When it comes to passenger flights, Charleroi airport, the country’s second-largest airport, welcomes mostly low-cost airlines. It has one runway and is used primarily to fly to Europe and Northern Africa. These two airports represent two major entry points for tourists travelling to Brussels.
Brussels airport received almost 21.8 million passengers with a drop of 7% while Charleroi Airport welcomed almost 7.3million passengers which were 5% more than the previous year.
Nearly 20% of passengers are transiting the country while for 80% passengers Belgium main airport is the starting or the final destination.
Peak days at the airports see almost 85,000 passengers in a day.
Belgium showed a 3.2% growth in terms of travel and tourism’s direct contribution to employment as compared to 2.8% of the European Union average.
According to World travel and Tourism Corporation, Belgium’s travel and tourism direct contribution to GDP will increase by 3.1% per annum.
Tourismprof.club Author Team