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Mini Europe to reopen on 29 March after difficult year

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: Thierry Meeus, CEO of Mini-Europe. (BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ)
08:56 16/03/2021

Mini Europe, the tourist attraction located next to the Atomium in Brussels, will once again be accessible to the public from Monday 29 March, the park’s management announced on Monday. The park faces significant challenges to regain profitability and convince Belgian visitors to return in 2021 after suffering major losses in 2020.

The coronavirus crisis and the sudden halt in international tourism in Brussels have severely affected the park, which has seen an 84% drop in visitor numbers. Last September, in the absence of an agreement on a contract extension with Brussels Expo, Mini Europe announced its intention to close its doors at the end of December and launch a collective redundancy procedure for the 80 staff members, 30 of whom work at the park full-time.

However, in January, Mini Europe, the property developer Europea and Brussels Expo finally announced an agreement to extend the operation of the park on the Heysel plateau until it is integrated into the NEO-Europea development project.

With its short-term future at least secured, the park now wants to attract a wider audience with its "interactive outdoor museum". Its director Thierry Meeus wants to "convince Belgians that visiting a Brussels attraction can be as safe and fun as visiting a park in the Ardennes or the coast" during the health crisis.

From the end of June, the park will offer two new attractions: The Age of Enlightenment, with an animated presentation of great figures from that time, and the Place de l'Etoile in Paris, a new landscape concept which will be an extension of the park’s existing area around its Arc de Triomphe. New investments and renovations will be planned each year, added Meeus.

Written by Nick Amies