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Brussels sees positive trend in summer tourism

09:05 01/09/2023

The Brussels tourism sector is reporting a successful summer season this year with hotels in particular citing satisfactory occupancy rates, according to an initial survey conducted this week by the Brussels Hotels Association (BHA).

Tourism was helped along by a number of major events in July, said the BHA’s secretary general Rodolphe Van Weyenbergh.

The occupancy rate reached 68.7%, which is 1.5% higher than a year earlier.

But for the period from 1-27 August, the average occupancy rate was 60.6%, 2.5% lower than last year.

Van Weyenbergh said that this drop is related to the absence of the flower carpet on the Grand Place, the lack of large-scale events during that time and changes in the calendar.

For instance, while the Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix in 2023 was held on the last weekend of July, last year the event was held at the end of August.

“This confirms the importance of a recurring events policy,” Van Weyenbergh said.

The BHA remains optimistic about the autumn season, largely due to the recovery of business tourism.

Wallonia also saw an overall positive summer season.

“The occupancy rate for accommodation has been decent, especially for gîtes and larger accommodation designed for trips with friends or family,” said Geoffrey Moulart of Visit Wallonia.

Even with a rainy July, the season was “generally better than last year” and last-minute bookings helped it along.

“Wallonia has a lot to offer: its temperate climate, but also its nature," he added.

Written by Helen Lyons