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Last-minute hotels still available for Tour de France in Brussels

21:51 01/07/2019

Hotels in Brussels are about 80% booked for this weekend's Tour de France festivities - meaning a last-minute reservation is still possible.

The Brussels Hotel Association is expecting 25,000 extra guests to stay in the capital to see the race, on top of the normal level of hotel occupancy at this time of year.

"Our wish, of course, is to be fully booked for the weekend of the Grand Départ," said BHA president Rodolphe Van Weyenbergh.

"We're not quite there yet, but that's to be expected. It's a free event, so people will make last-minute bookings depending on the weather."

The cyclists, their support teams and the press will take up 4,500 hotel rooms alone.

"We have been working on this for a year," said Cyril Manguso, managing director of the Sofitel Brussels Europe on Place Jourdan, which will host one of the participating teams.

The City of Brussels spent €5m on its campaign to become the 2019 Grand Départ host city. The Brussels region has spent €2m on road repairs.

In total, a million people are expected to line the route of the race on Saturday and Sunday afternoons - and regional tourist office Visit.Brussels is counting on a €30m boost to the local economy.

Patrick Bontick, chief executive of Visit.Brussels said hosting the event would be a great advertisement for what the city has to offer visitors.

"Studies show that the Tour de France coverage is the equivalent of taking out a €3m or €4m ad campaign to attract tourists," he said. "So it's money well spent.

Written by The Bulletin