Although no new cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed since a Belgian that had been evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan tested positive for the virus at the start of the month, the Brussels regional news platform Bruzz reports that the virus is having a negative impact on tourism in the capital and in Belgium as a whole.
BHA has calculated that the hotels in Brussels and around the airport at Zaventem (Flemish Brabant) have lost around 10 million euros in bookings. The main cause is the travel restrictions imposed by big companies on their staff as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
BHA’s General Secretary Rudolphe Van Weyenbergh told Bruzz that
"This is only the tip of the iceberg. What gives us cause for concern is the increasing slowdown in activity in the hotel sector”.
Hotels seek government support
The hotel industry is keen to stress that the federal authorities’ communication about COVID-19 is efficient and effective. However, the industry calls on the federal authorities to introduce measures to help see it through the crisis.
Mr Van Weyenbergh added that "Our priority remains the health and well-being of our employees”. BHA represents 90% of the hotels in Brussels. Its members have a total of 15,000 hotel rooms and employee 12,500 people.