ROBIN UTRECHT

10 Brussels hotels help the homeless

The tourist industry has suffered worse than most as a result of the coronavirus crisis. However, 10 hotels in Brussels have had high occupancy levels. According to figures provided by the First Minister in the Brussels Regional Government Rudi Vervort (Francophone socialist), since the start of the year the hotels have been providing accommodation to 911 people that would otherwise have been without a roof over their head. Mr Vervoort was replying to a parliamentary question from the Flemish Christian democrat regional MP Bianca Debaets.

 

Since the onset of the pandemic the Brussels Regional Government has requisitioned several of the city’s hotels to use them to provide accommodation for the capital’s homeless. According to the figures given by Mr Vervoort in his answer, 750 beds at the hotels were occupied between March and June 2020, with an average of 650 beds taken between July and December 2020. Since the start of this year an average 911 homeless people have been put up at the hotels.

During 2019 occupancy levels at Brussels’ hotels averaged 76.5%. Last year the collapse of business travel and tourism due to the pandemic saw this fall to just 21.8%. The Brussels Hotel Association says that revenue in the capital’s hotels was down 90% last years compared with 2019.

Since the start of the pandemic the Brussels Regional Government has given a total of 6 million euro to 1,284 companies in the capital that are involved in tourism. On 11 March an additional financial aid package was approved for the sectors of the Brussels economy that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. 

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