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Busy summer for Brussels hotels thanks to Nato summit and Flower Carpet
Hot weather, a Nato summit and the Flower Carpet have all contributed to the Brussels hotel sector celebrating one of its best summers in recent years.
The city attracted 748,000 overnight visitors in July and an estimated 718,000 in August, a 9% improvement compared with summer 2017, according to official new figures from the Brussels Hotels Association and Visit Brussels.
The average occupancy rate in hotels across the Brussels region reached 77% in July - up four percentage points on the same period in 2015, before the Brussels attacks. The rate in August was 68% - again an improvement of four points over the same period.
The hotel sector says a Nato summit and the Tomorrowland music festival - which is now spread over two weekends - were big factors in July's strong results. During Tomorrowland, occupancy rates averaged 93%. In August, the Flower Carpet was a big contributor to the high visitor numbers.
"These figures show that Brussels has regained its appeal to tourists, and big events are essential for the capital, especially in summer when business tourism is less important," said Rodolphe Van Weyenbergh of the Brussels Hotels Association. "The added value brought by the Tomorrowland festival alone is about 40,000 overnight stays in Brussels."