Plans to boost Belgian tourism
3 November 2004, BRUSSELS - Belgium's new tourism minister, Benoit Lutgen, has pledged to boost Wallonia's burgeoning tourism sector with a five year plan, it was reported on Wednesday.
3 November 2004
BRUSSELS - Belgium's new tourism minister, Benoit Lutgen, has pledged to boost Wallonia's burgeoning tourism sector with a five year plan, it was reported on Wednesday.
Lutgen has EUR 40 million at his disposal but has called for an increased budget to put his plan into effect, Le Soir newspaper wrote.
The cost of renovating the former battle site at Waterloo alone is to cost EUR 20 million and Lutgen fears a public backlash over so much money being spent on one project.
The new minister also aims to tighten up tourism laws and will present new proposals on accommodation next month.
Other laws are to follow, the most important being on tourist attractions.
A working group is currently looking at standard technical norms for this field.
Lutgen also intends to draw on the French and Quebecois experience of 'centres of competence' that are specifically focussed on the tourist trade.
The centres' mission will be to evaluate results from the tourist sector, define training standards and organise exchanges.
The priority will be on human capital rather than infrastructure.
The minister also wants to promote the Wallonian identity and image by making it obvious to tourists which region of Belgium they are in.
This can be done through better signs on roads, airports, stations and at borders.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news