Activity report 2020

Turning the crisis into an opportunity for Brussels tourism

Brussels

A tourist destination with a unique character

An international capital with a great quality of life, Brussels is uniquely positioned on the European and world tourism map and offers a genuine balance between business and leisure tourism.

The presence of the European Institutions, NATO and more than 2,200 international associations means that congress and meeting activity is extremely high for a city of only 1.2 million inhabitants.

What's more, with 183 different nationalities calling the capital home, Brussels is the second most cosmopolitan city in the world and the first in Europe. It's a veritable melting pot of cultural diversity in Europe, drawing people to it through its creativity, and it has established itself as a hub for contemporary art. If you add to this its UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical centre, the Belgian capital lends itself perfectly to short stays.

International associations

2.200

Inhabitants

1,2 millions

Nationalities

183

The most cosmopolitan city in Europe

1st

General management

Turning the crisis into an opportunity for Brussels tourism

In 2020, the global tourism sector was hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, and Brussels was no exception. Patrick Bontinck, CEO of visit.brussels, and Sigurd Vangermeersch, Deputy CEO, take stock of this unprecedented year.

New internal organisation

Transversality, exchanges and cocreation: visit.brussels gets a new structure

2020’s major project, the implementation of a new internal organisation aims to strengthen transversality, collaboration and co-creation, both within visit.brussels and with its many partners in Brussels’ tourism industry. This approach also makes it possible to better understand the expectations of visitors, whoever they may be: business or leisure tourists, international, Belgian or Brussels. The activities are divided between four departments, with General Management in the centre: Customer Experience, Media, Finance & Operating and Strategy & International. The HR and Logistics departments are attached to General Management.

2020 Action and Recovery Plan

The action plan initially planned by visit.brussels for 2020 was severely disrupted by the health circumstances linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. To support the tourism, events and cultural sector through this unprecedented crisis, the organisation drew up a vast recovery plan, in co-creation with its partners and in harmony with the recommendations of the World Tourism Organisation.

Continuing the recovery in 2021

Maintaining Brussels’ tourism and cultural offer is a priority and a challenge for 2021. In order to achieve this, visit.brussels has begun drafting its 2021 recovery plan, again in co-creation with its partners.