All-time record number of tourists visit Flanders
The number of tourists and businesspeople arriving in Flanders for an overnight stay rose by six percent in 2014.
Flemish Tourism Minister Ben Weyts has welcomed the figures from the Flemish tourist authority Toerisme Vlaanderen, 'It's good news for the tourist sector and our economy!'
Figures for the Flemish art cities (up 6.3 percent), Flemish regions like the area of the Great War battlefields (up 6.5 percent) and the Flemish Coast (up 7.4 percent) are all significantly up.
Fine weather during the spring and autumn of 2014 is believed to have boosted the figures for the coast and the Flemish regions. The largest growth (up by 720,000 arrivals) was recorded in the art cities, where art, cultural heritage and shopping appeal to a broad group.
In 2014 foreign visitors and foreign businesspeople were responsible for 710,000 extra overnight stays.
It's especially in markets with tourists who have come from afar that a big rise has been recorded: US (up 12 percent), India and Brazil (both up 26 percent). Flanders also attracts large numbers of visitors from neighbouring countries. This group make up 60 percent of all overnight stays.
In all 11.9 million arrivals from abroad were recorded. There were 26.6 million overnight stays. Foreign visitors were responsible for 14 million overnight stays. Tourism Minister Ben Weyts, 'It means an awful lot for the hospitality industry: visitors sponsor our pubs, cafes and restaurants, our shops and our businesses. By working together with the sector I hope to attract many more visitors to Flanders!'