Visitor characteristics

  • There are four times more male than female business visitors but leisure visitors have a more even gender distribution
  • More than 60% of Belgian holiday visitors are making a repeat visit to Britain
  • Far more visitors come from Brussels than any other part of Belgium
  • Those from Belgium are less likely than average to say they are ‘extremely likely’ to recommend Britain for a holiday or short-break

Popular activities

Sightseeing of Famous Buildings/ Monuments

Visited Parks/ Gardens

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)18.7
Global rank for international tourism expenditure14
Number of outbound visits (m)23.0
Most visited destinationFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)11.3
GDP per capita (US$)40,224
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)1.2
Annual average GDP growth over the past year (%)1.4

Inbound visits to Britain

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Total nights spent
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Seasonality (Share of visits)

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Regional spread (Share of visits)

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Journey purpose (Share of visits)

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Access to Britain from Belgium

Weekly aircraft departures189
Weekly seat capacity20,564
Airports with direct routes in Belgium4
Airports with direct routes in Britain12
Eurostar trains per day from Brussels9
Weekly ferry crossings7
  • The majority of Belgians reach Britain by means of the Channel Tunnel
  • Airline seat capacity has grown again in the last few years
  • The bulk of seat capacity serves the Brussels to Heathrow corridor
  • Those who fly back to Belgium from Britain pay £13 in Air Passenger Duty if flying economy

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


Belgium Market Profile

Read about the preferences of Europeans towards tourism.Published March 2015

Read our report documenting perceptions of visitors from Belgium on the expense and value for money when taking a holiday in Britain. Published 2012

Exchange rate

1 GBP = 1.1822 EUR

As of 26 April 2017

Retrieved from the Bank of England