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 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 was ranked 21st on the World Economic Forum's 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report.[5] The country was placed 4th for "health and hygiene" and 6th for "ground and port infrastructure", but only 105th in the world for "price competitiveness" and 122nd for "natural resources". In recent years, the number of international tourists has exponentially grown as key figures shown by Tourisme Vlaanderen. In 2012, Flanders reached a new milestone when more than 1 billion tourists arrived. Since 2012, there is slow yet steady growth, showing 1.2 billion tourists arrivals in 2015.

Arrivals by country

Most visitors arriving to Belgium on short term basis in come from the following countries of nationality:

Rank Country 2014[6] 2015[7] 2016[8]
1 Netherlands1,705,5371,919,4131,854,486
2 France1,264,2911,285,6101,202,041
3 United Kingdom1,026,0031,043,613868,173
4 Germany868,250945,974865,031
5 Spain366,474360,220304,598
6 United States366,061388,423299,907
7 Italy299,864294,945224,762
8 China169,075209,045147,654
9 Luxembourg100,002114,899110,953
10  Switzerland108,031118,79691,308
11 Poland87,69894,93790,914
12 Sweden69,99468,02165,117
13 Denmark60,33061,92763,415
14 Russia97,18372,63060,386
15 IrelandN/AN/A57,266
16 Turkey49,47561,53855,410
17 PortugalN/AN/A54,221
18 Canada59,28961,35750,521
19 Japan111,93996,44450,253
20 RomaniaN/AN/A45,077
Total foreign7,887,4268,354,7537,481,422

See also


  1. "More support for tourism". 2007-03-02. Archived from the original on 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2007-03-02.
  2. Travel and Tourism in Belgium -
  3. Tourism Services - World Trade Organization
  4. Belgium - The tertiary sector from
  5. "Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017" (PDF). World Economic Forum. 2017-04-05. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  6. Tourisme selon pays de provenance 2014
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-08-20. Retrieved 2017-08-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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