Bruges wary of overburdening of tourists

 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 


Last week, the city of Bruges, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, became the latest stop on the global tourist trail to question the philosophy that ‘more is better’ when it comes to visitors.


The city Mayor, Dirk De fauw, elected in October under the slogan “Go with De fauw”, announced that the municipality would no longer advertise or promote day trips to the city. Measures would also be taken to reduce the number of cruise ships docking at nearby Zeebrugge from five a day to just two. Cruise companies will also be asked to dock during the week rather than weekends to check crowds.


“We have to control the influx more if we don’t want Bruges to become a complete Disneyland here,” said De fauw.


Bruges is visited by 8.3 million people a year, going up by 28% in the last two years, and yet just 2.5 million of those spend a night..


Discontentment of around 120,000 people who live in Bruges have not gone unobserved by De fauw, who was born and bred in the city – a place, he said, that is generally at ease with itself. The Mayor said that his move is in keeping with a series of decisions that allows Bruges to maintain its attraction to locals and visitors alike.


“There are 13 central cities in Flanders,” said De fauw. “Bruges is the third biggest behind Antwerp and Ghent. And for something like 12 or 14 years we have come top when the people were asked in a survey whether they are proud of their city. It is said that 90% are proud of their city – and we want to keep it like this.”


In 1996, there was a ban on building new hotels in the city centre, and in 2002, there was a prohibition on holiday homes.


De fauw added, “Now we are looking at the areas outside the city centre – such as Sint Andries – to see if we need to do the same there on holiday homes. Otherwise we will end up with no one living in Bruges. We are not like Amsterdam yet – and we will provide to make sure that doesn’t happen. We want the people who stay in our hotels, who go to restaurants, who buy something in the shops, but we will not promote for those tourists who just come a few hours to Bruges.”


« Back to Page

Related Posts

Tags: ,


Subscribe to our Newsletter

I want to receive travel news and trade event update from Travel And Tour World. I have read Travel And Tour World's Privacy Notice.

Sep 26
September 26 - September 28
Sep 29
September 29 - September 30
Oct 03
Oct 04
October 4 - October 6