Belgium

Belgium

From 22 May we will be working to update all of the data and documents on this page following the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revision of the International Passenger Survey (IPS) data for 2009-2018 and the released detailed 2019 data. Please be patient as we update these pages or contact the VisitBritain research team if you have any questions- VB/VEResearch@visitbritain.org. Thank you.

Visitor characteristics

  • There are more than twice as many male than female business visitors
  • Four-in-five Belgian holiday visitors (excluding British expats) are making a repeat visit to Britain (within ten years)
  • Far more visitors come from Brussels than any other part of Belgium
  • 97% of departing visitors from Belgium (excluding British expats) are ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend a visit to Britain

Popular activities

Sightseeing of Famous Buildings/ Monuments

Visited a Pub

Went Shopping

Global context

Measure2019
International tourism expenditure (US$bn)18.5
Global rank for international tourism expenditure18
Number of outbound visits (m)26.9
Most visited destinationFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Measure2019
Population (m)11.5
GDP per capita PPP (US$)46,258
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)1.6
Annual average GDP growth over the past year (%)1.4

Inbound visits to Britain from Belgium

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Number of visits

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Total expenditure (GBP)

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Total nights spent

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Average length of stay (Nights)

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Average spend per visit (GBP)

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What Belgians think about Britain

  • Museums and films are the cultural products that Belgians most closely associate with Britain
  • 44% say a potential trip to Britain would be 'exciting'
  • 46% associate the statement 'has a rich and interesting history' with Britain but a greater number associate it with both France and Italy
  • 42% reckon that Britain 'is good for high street shopping'
  • One-in-three associate Britain with the statement 'is rich in natural scenic beauty' but competitor destinations are much more strongly associated with the attribute

Caring for visitors

  • 3 or 4 star hotels tend to be the favoured form of holiday accommodation, with an eagerness for value for money and a warm personal welcome
  • Belgians like to take time over their meals and take pride in their cuisine
  • Belgians are comfortable paying for goods and services with a credit card when on holiday

The leisure & travel trade

  • Group operators, especially those providing school and youth travel, are an important sector of the travel trade selling Britain
  • Most Belgians book a holiday to Britain directly on the internet
  • It is wise to be on time for meetings

Access to Britain from Belgium

Measure2019
Weekly aircraft departures156
Weekly seat capacity21,548
Airports with direct routes in Belgium4
Airports with direct routes in Britain12
Eurostar trains per day from Brussels10
Weekly ferry crossings7
  • The majority of Belgians reach Britain by means of the Channel Tunnel
  • The bulk of plane seat capacity serves the Brussels to Heathrow corridor
  • There were 156 weekly departures with an average seating capacity of 21,548 in 2019
  • Those who fly back to Belgium from Britain pay £13 in Air Passenger Duty if flying economy