140,000 euro to get conferences to Ghent again after corona
With a separate budget of 140,000 euro, the City intends to promote conference tourism after corona.
Through the municipal marketing fund, the City of Ghent has been supporting initiatives enhancing the image of Ghent in Belgium or abroad for years. In order to convince conference organisers in these difficult times to opt for Ghent, an additional budget of 140,000 euro will be provided within the existing municipal marketing fund for 2020 and 2021.
After all, attending conferences was a major reason to come and stay in Ghent in the past few years. In 2018 the market share of conference tourism was 18 per cent. It’s a growing market: the number of overnight stays booked by conference tourists increased by more than 26,000 since 2012 to a total of 208,000 in 2018.
Conferences are very important to our city. After having liberated extra resources via the municipal marketing fund for initiatives relating to the Van Eyck year, we now consciously make the choice of making a temporary budget available to attract conferences.
A lot of benefits
Conference tourism benefits Ghent in many different ways. The peak of leisure tourism is in summer and on weekends, whereas the peak of conference tourism is outside the tourist season and on weekdays. This guarantees a better spread. In addition, conference tourists are interesting from an economic point of view, both during their stay and in the future. They can contribute to the dissemination of the message of Ghent as an attractive destination.
GentCongres is the specialised team of the City of Ghent that is dedicated to supporting conference tourism. This official conference agency helps organisers free of charge in their search for suitable hotels, meeting rooms, restaurants and other services that turn a conference into a success. They also provide support for the communication about the conference. The team also promotes Ghent as a conference city in Belgium and abroad and helps all potential conference organisers, many of whom are local knowledge and care institutions, to draw up high-quality application files.
In line with the general policy choices for tourism, the City of Ghent intends to focus on the sustainability of conferences and meetings in the years to come.