In Tokyo, the Brussels Region not only presents itself as an economic partner, but also presents Brussels as an interesting tourist location. And that just when the double flights between Tokyo and Brussels are under pressure.
In a panel discussion, CEO of visit.brussels Patrick Bontinck and Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pascal Smet (Vooruit) showed the most interesting attractions of the Brussels Region to the tour operators present. Major events such as the folkloric Ommegang, the Bright Festival, the Flower Carpet, the Comic Strip Festival and Winter Wonders were discussed, but the Royal Quarter also received a mention.
“In a huge small space you will find a huge number of museums and numerous exemplary buildings, and that close to the historic center,” it sounded.
In addition, the gardens of the royal palace were also put in the spotlight and the year of Art Nouveau was explained to Japanese tour operators. The different neighborhoods in Brussels were also discussed. “Brussels has several small neighborhoods that each have their own characteristics. Every time you move from neighborhood to neighborhood, you imagine yourself in a different city.”
During the panel discussion, Brussels Airport also announced that they currently account for 80 percent of the number of travelers compared to the record year 2019. However, the direct flight from Brussels to Tokyo is under pressure and is in danger of disappearing in the future. Princess Astrid passed away in her speech at the official Belgian reception in Tokyo, expressing her wish to keep that direct flight.
“The direct flight to Tokyo is currently under pressure for various reasons,” says CEO of visit.brussels Patrick Bontinck.
“Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the escape route has to change. The flight has become two hours longer. As a result, more kerosene is consumed and the tickets become more expensive. On top of that, because of those two extra flying hours, an extra pilot has to go on board. Brussels is not the only European destination that is under pressure. Airline All Nippon Airways will most likely retain only two European destinations for the foreseeable future.”