Tourism in Belgium

Tourism in Belgium is one of Belgium's industries. Its accessibility from elsewhere in Europe makes it a popular tourist destination. The tourist industry generates 2.8% of Belgium's gross domestic product and employs 3.3% of the working population (142,000 people).[1] 6.7 million people travelled to Belgium in 2005.[2] Two-thirds of them come from the larger nearby countries - France, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany, there are also many tourists from France, Spain and Italy.

Like many national institutions in Belgium, the national tourist agencies are split along regional lines with two tourist agencies. They are the Belgian Tourist Office Brussels & Wallonia for the regions of Wallonia and Brussels Capital-Region, and Toerisme Vlaanderen covering Flanders, although it covers Brussels as well.

In 1993, 2% of the total workforce was employed in tourism, less than in many neighbouring countries.[3] Much of the tourism industry is located either on the heavily developed coastline or in the Ardennes.[4] Brussels and the Flemish cities of Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Mechelen, the Flemish Cities of Art, attract many cultural tourists.[2] Much tourism in Brussels is business tourism.

Belgium ranked 21st on the World Economic Forum's 2007 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, lower than all the neighbouring countries.[5] Although the country scored highly for 'natural and cultural resources', it was ranked only 114th in the world for both 'price competitiveness' and 'availability of qualified labor'.[6] In recent years the number of international tourists has stayed relatively stable, but the income they generate has increased to 9.863 billion US Dollars in 2005.

Arrivals by country

Most visitors arriving to Belgium on short term basis in 2014 were from the following countries of nationality:[7]

Rank Country Number
1 Netherlands 1,705,537
2 France 1,264,291
3 United Kingdom 1,026,003
4 Germany 868,250
5 Spain 366,474
6 United States 366,061
7 Italy 299,864
8 China 169,075
9 Japan 111,939
10  Switzerland 108,031
11 Luxembourg 100,002
12 Russia 97,183
13 Poland 87,698
14 Sweden 69,994
15 Brazil 61,909
16 Denmark 60,330
17 Canada 59,289
18 India 56,707
19 Australia 53,590
20 Portugal 52,427
Total foreign 17,068,872

See also


  1. "More support for tourism". 2007-03-02. Archived from the original on 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2007-03-02.
  2. 1 2 Travel and Tourism in Belgium -
  3. Tourism Services - World Trade Organization
  4. Belgium - The tertiary sector from
  5. "Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index". World Economic Forum. 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2007-03-02.
  6. "Belgium Country/Economy Profile" (PDF). Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. World Economic Forum. 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2007-03-02.
  7. Tourisme selon pays de provenance 2014
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Belgium.
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