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Waterloo 2015: Belgian hoteliers earn their stripes

The re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo enabled hoteliers from Brussels and Walloon Brabant to move forward, as their turnover and occupancy significantly improved during the event.

To celebrate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, nearly five thousand people participated in a large reconstruction event organized from June 17th to 21st. It was undoubtedly one of the year's landmarks for Belgian tourism professionals and the public seems to have come forward. If no official figures have been reported yet, organizers estimate that around 200,000 tourists attended the event. One third of visitors would come from abroad (outside Belgium). The economic impact could exceed twenty million euros, as announced by several Belgian media (RTBF, RTL...)

Evolution of hotel performance between 2014 and 2015

Hospitality professionals have taken advantage of the event to boost hotel performances. In Brussels and Walloon Brabant (near Waterloo), the hotel occupancy rate increases over the period by respectively 7.2 and 8.2 points (compared to the same weekdays in 2014). The increase in the average price is high: +11.8% to reach €114.7 in Brussels; +15% in the south of the capital with an average rate of €122.2. This allowed the revenue per available room to rise by more than 20% over the period, despite a tactical withdrawal on Thursday, June 18th, in the middle of the event, before the final rush during the weekend.

Remembrance tourism is a boon to the European tourism sector. The good scores displayed a year ago by the Norman hotels during the commemorations of the D-Day have to be remembered. (Read our article). Also to be underlined, the centenary of the Great War was favorable to hoteliers last November. It also bodes well for the 500-year celebrations of the battle of Marignan (Lombardy) next September, at a time when the Milan Expo 2015 will also be in full swing.

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