© Toerisme Brugge | Jan D'Hondt

More foreign tourists visiting Flanders

2017 was a record year for tourism in our region and the figures for first half of this year seem to indicate that 2018 could be even better still for tourism in Flanders. During the period between 1 January and 30 June there were a total of 14 million nights spent by guests staying in Flemish hotels, up by 1 million on the same period last year. The growth comes thanks to a big increase in foreign tourists, both from neighboring countries and from America and Asia. The figures come from the Flemish tourism industry’s 6-monthy report.   

The number of nights spent in Flemish hotels by Belgians was up by 4% compared with the first 6 months of last year. Meanwhile, the number of nights spent by foreign tourists in our region’s hotels was up by 11%.   

75% of tourists staying in Flemish hotels came from abroad. As well as the many German, French and British tourists that used hotels in our region, there was also plenty of interest for what our region has to offer from American, Brazilian and Chinese tourists    

Not only the traditional tourist hotspots such as Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and the coast were popular, but also smaller cities such as Mechelen and Leuven. These and a number of other smaller cities feature alongside the coast and the Flemish Art Cities in the Flemish Tourist Board’s promotional campaigns aimed at foreign tourists.    

The figures for the first half of the year don’t include July and August when the long period of hot weather sent tourists flocking to the coast in their droves. 

Jurjen Drenth
Kim van Dam
Christophe Ketels / COMPAGNIE GAGARINE