New Consumer Goods market report from Timetric: "Travel and Tourism in Belgium to 2017"
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/24/2013 -- The Belgian travel and tourism sector in terms of volume declined in 2009, and grew at a comparatively slow pace during the overall review period (2008-2012). The country recorded an increase in the volume of domestic and international visitors, and consequently tourist expenditure rose. Despite an annual increase in tourist volumes, Belgium's share of international tourists is low when compared to its European counterparts such as France and Germany. The government is keen to develop ecotourism and has undertaken initiatives to promote this. The country attracts a large number of medical tourists due to its advanced levels of medical technology, low treatment costs and healthcare infrastructure.
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- Given the economic weakness of many of Belgium's key trading partners and low domestic demand, Timetric expects Belgium's economy to remain flat in 2013 before recording a positive growth rate of 1.2% in 2014. Private consumption is expected to decrease the overall growth rate, as a weak job market negatively impacts disposable income. However, Timetric expects the economy to grow in the range of 1.6-2% over 2015-2017.
- To increase Belgium's competitiveness in the global marketplace, the government is encouraging foreign investments. According to the UN's Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in 2011, Belgium was ranked second in terms of its attractiveness to foreign direct investment (FDI).
- The government is keen to develop ecotourism and has undertaken initiatives to promote its countryside. For example, Viroinval National Park in south-west Belgium is among the European Tourist Destinations of Excellence (EDEN).
- The three most visited provinces in Belgium include West Vlaanderen, Limburg (BE) and Antwerpen. The open-air museum in Bokrijk, the 16th-century Alden Biesen Castle in Bilzen and the Beguinage, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tongeren, are the most popular tourist destinations in the Limburg Province.
- Economic instability in European countries has affected inbound tourism. An increase in unemployment and a decrease in mean household income and disposable income have negatively affected consumer confidence.
- The volume of outbound leisure tourists increased due to various promotional packages offered by tour operators, and the country's expanding capacity for international flights. France, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Turkey Switzerland, Austria and Greece are the leading European destinations for outbound travel from Belgium.
- Expansion to new destinations is one of the key competitive strategies followed by airline companies in Belgium. Adding new destinations expands networks and increases guest traffic. In contrast, customers also benefit from new service offerings. For example, Jetairfly now provides flights to the Azores and Macedonia.
Companies Mentioned in this Report: Brussels Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, Jetair NV, Abelag Aviation, ASL Group, Accor Hotels Belgium, Intercontinental Hotels Group Belgium, NH Hoteles Belgium, Thon Hotels, Steigenberger Grandhotel, Europcar SA, Avis Belgium, Hertz Belgium NV, Budget Rent a Car Belgium, Sixt Belgium BVBA, Holidaypride SPRL, Airstop Belgium, TCRB NV, Welcome Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel Belgium
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