Discover Flanders With All Your Senses

Today’s the day, VISITFLANDERS is set to welcome the travel trade to its first #FlandersTravelForum.

Noting that challenging times call for new ways of thinking and creative solutions, VISITFLANDERS organized the Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 online B2B event to reconnect in a safe way with its partners – both Belgian suppliers and global trade buyers – and to foster their interaction.

Delegates will get the opportunity to virtually network with each other, while at the same time learn more about Flanders by attending several themed presentations, virtual experiences and topical plenary sessions with leading speakers. The whole event takes place under the umbrella of the renewed Travel to Tomorrow vision that stands for a more sustainable form of tourism.

And being keenly aware of how hard the industry has been hit by the global pandemic, #FlandersTravelForum is just one way that VISITFLANDERS is demonstrating its support for its trade partners – both Belgian suppliers and global trade buyers from over 20 different countries – and helping them to get the best out of this structural situation.

The online platform offers plenty of networking opportunities and an extensive program consisting of presentations, interactive virtual activities and plenary sessions.

The list of speakers includes Tony Wheeler, the co-founder of Lonely Planet, cycling legend Johan Museeuw, Herman Konings, Xavier Font and Sven Wiltink.

For Belgian suppliers the #FlandersTravelForum is the perfect occasion to discover new international trends in the tourism sector and expose their offerings linked to (one or some of) the core themes that Flanders wants to promote on an international scale: Flemish Masters, Cycling, Gastronomy, World War 1, Heritage and Nature/Sustainability. The global buyers, in turn, get the chance to in a unique way expand their knowledge of Flanders and the Flemish culture.

Peter De Wilde, CEO of VISITFLANDERS, observed that: “The fact that under these difficult circumstances we are still able to bring our Flemish tourism sector into contact with over 300 partners from all over the world, is the result of our international network that we have expanded with VISITFLANDERS after years of intensive press and trade work.”

De Wilde continued: “In no time at all, we reached the maximum of 400 participants, who have already scheduled 1600 meetings during the forum. And probably the most important thing of all: they all indicate that they are ready to bring real visitors to Flanders again or to give them a warm welcome here, once the conditions allow this.”

When travelling, actively engaging all five senses can strongly enhance the experience of a destination. That’s why the central theme of #FlandersTravelForum is “to discover Flanders with all senses” – even though a physical tourist visit is not an option these days. Nothing stimulates the memory more than a scent.

Therefore, within the scope of this event, VISITFLANDERS collaborated with fragrance artist Peter De Cupere. He created three fragrances with a clear link to Flanders and some of its core assets: the fragrance of Belgian chocolate, the Flemish Masters and a walk in the Flemish nature. Prior to the event, samples had been shipped to early registrants by VISITFLANDERS. The samples came with a QR code that links to three inspirational recorded fragments on the VISITFLANDERS website. All with the objective of letting the participants discover Flanders with all their senses.

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