Brussel’s tourism sector hardest hit by terror attacks: Euromonitor

In the wake of today’s Brussels terror attacks, industry analyst Euromonitor International has predicted a 10-20 percent decline in bookings to the European capital in the short- to medium-term. 

“The impact of these terrible events on the travel and tourism in the city is likely to have predominantly short to medium term impact on the development of the industry, even though, that the sector in the country has been showing modest growth in 2015 as travellers remained cautious, cutting back on their travel plans in a bid to save money,” said Nadejda Popova, travel project manager at Euromonitor International.

Brussels concentrates most of Belgium’s business services, or activities with the highest value added while its main airport handled 22 million passengers in 2014, making it the 23rd busiest in Europe. Popova noted that the city recorded over 3 million visitors in 2014 – an increase of nearly 4% on the previous year while air travel continued to be a major driver of growth in transportation in 2015 in Belgium.

“The terrorist attacks are expected to slow down travel demand and possibly could lead to a 10-20% decline in bookings following heightened fears of further attacks in the city similar to the tourism performance of such cities as Paris, Madrid and London following the terrorist attacks in these parts of the world,” she said. “However, this is not expected to have a long-term impact as the European travel industry has proven to be very resilient to such external impacts and recover fairly quickly.”

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