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4th Brussels International – Tourism & Congress

Brussels Meetings Week, take 4!

eTN Staff Writer  Mar 13, 2009

Buoyed by the success of the first three editions, BI-TC (Brussels International – Tourism & Congress) launched the 4th Brussels Meetings
Week today, providing a whole week devoted to promoting business travel and meetings and events, a mainstay of the economic life of Brussels.

“The internationalization of Brussels is one of the major challenges for the economic development of the region. This is now a fact, and the meetings and events sector is an essential motor for this development. The key objective of Brussels Meetings Week is to unite all the stakeholders and make them aware of the potential and significance this sector has for Brussels,” explained Philippe Close, president of BI-TC.

The week, dedicated to the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) industry, is designed to raise awareness among the general public, job seekers, tourism and business school students, and professionals in the hotel and restaurant sector, of the importance of the sector in terms of economic benefits for Brussels. The idea is also to motivate the principal actors in the industry to contribute to a joint project: that of promoting the image of Brussels overseas.

On the menu for this 4th edition of Brussels Meetings Week is a ‘Job Day,' which focuses on tourism, hotels, restaurants, and the meetings industry. It is organized to commence this Friday, March 13 to promote meetings between employers and job applicants, as well as a series of events organized for professionals in the sector in order to inspire them to sell Brussels as a business, exhibition, and meeting destination.

These activities take place alongside the EMIF (European Meetings Industry Fair) on March 18-10 at Tour & Taxis, where some 400 Belgian and international exhibitors will offer a panorama of the latest trends in the sector. Some 7,000 visitors from all over Europe are expected to visit the exhibition.

During Brussels Meetings Week, BI-TC is also offering a special program directed towards potential clients and aimed at highlighting the innumerable possibilities offered by the Brussels-Capital Region for meetings and events of all types.

The week ends with a Brussels Tourism Awards Ceremony, where initiatives, events, and other innovations are rewarded for the positive image of Brussels that they have conveyed beyond its borders. It’s also an opportunity for the authorities to encourage the sector to innovate and participate in projects, which promote Brussels as a tourism and meeting destination.

In this important capital, medical congresses, European summits, exhibitions and fairs of all types, events, and new product launches, all grouped together under the ‘Meetings Industry’ banner, represent over 55,000 gatherings each year. They attract some 14 million participants with a buying power estimated at 350 euro per day. In 2007, the influx of visitors generated by this sector resulted in an average of almost 5,000 overnight hotel stays per day.

“The opening of SQUARE, the renovated Palais des Congrès, next September is eagerly awaited by the sector. The numerous reservations for the coming three years, even before its opening, are already a positive sign of its new potential. The Mont des Arts quarter, with the opening of the Magritte Museum among other major innovations and renovations, should become a new nerve center for tourism in the city”, explained Philippe Close.

Find the complete program and the latest information at:

Brussels Meetings Week, take 4!
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