Promoting tourism in Charleroi Métropole: Brussels South Charleroi Airport is well-established as a key player in the region
Brussels South Charleroi Airport works with Charleroi Métropole to develop tourism in the region in which it is based. As a transit hub, the airport is keen to become a key player from which travellers will be able to explore Charleroi Métropole. Thanks to partnerships with the tourist information offices that are working hard to promote the region, passengers will be able to choose from a range of options. The partnership with Ryanair began in September, and the aim is to promote tourism in Charleroi Métropole.
In 2018, the airport welcomed more than eight million travellers. With its visitor numbers and ongoing growth, Brussels South Charleroi Airport is keen to offer travellers the chance to explore Charleroi Métropole. Internationally renowned, BSCA is now a major player, offering travellers from all different walks of life the chance to explore a region that has the virtue of being home to some fantastic cultural and tourist attractions. In collaboration with the Charleroi Métropole tourism sector and different local tourist information offices, travellers will be able to choose from a wide range of options, with plenty of alternatives on offer.
Charleroi Métropole encompasses the 29 municipalities and 600,000 residents of the Charleroi area. This region covers 2,000km² and offers incredible diversity in terms of economics, culture, tourism and landscapes. For several years, the region’s driving forces have been working together to ensure the roll-out of an ambitious, formative plan in an innovative framework.
Set up two years ago, the Conférence des Bourgmestres de Charleroi Métropole is working hard to consolidate the supra-municipal energy already in place within the Charleroi area. One of the main goals is to highlight everything the region has to offer.
The result is the launch of lots of different initiatives around Charleroi Métropole including a strong graphic identity, a website that promotes the region’s attractions and key players (charleroi-metropole.be), the creation of a tourist guide, a regional plan, the gradual development of a “ceinture alimentaire” (scheme to promote local food) and partnerships between municipalities.
Paul FURLAN, Chairman of the Conférence des Bourgmestre de Charleroi Métropole: “The Conférence des Bourgmestres has also been established to act as a catalyst between the key players in Charleroi Métropole in many different sectors related to the day-to-day life of locals (mobility, healthy food, economic development etc.).
It is against this backdrop that partnerships have been launched between the tourist information offices (Maisons du Tourisme des Pays des Lacs, du Pays de Charleroi) and Charleroi airport. Establishing a metropolitan area is indeed a major asset for our region, all the more so because of its international position. In a way, that’s the motto of the Conférence des Bourgmestres: We are stronger together.”
Charleroi Métropole Tourisme
Working throughout Charleroi Métropole means that the two tourist information offices (Maisons du Tourisme) can achieve a critical mass of excellent solutions to establish the region on a European stage. Charleroi Métropole Tourisme helps us focus on how our respective contributions complement each other: the urban dimension on the one hand, and the rural aspect on the other, with the Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure and the forests. Pooling our skills and working together means we can enter new markets less than a 2-hour flight away, extend the length of a stay, or set off on subsequent trips.
The ultimate goal is to develop tourism in order to become a fully-fledged destination for short breaks.
By drawing on tourist traffic and tourist consumer habits, working throughout Charleroi Métropole and its geographical sphere of influence will help us develop a formative tourism sector and establish the region as a competitor on a European level.
Working with BSCA and Ryanair has helped us introduce some of our tourist attractions to journalists and bloggers.
Christine CHARUE, Director of the Maison du Tourisme Pays des Lacs: “Working with Brussels South Charleroi Airport, more initiatives are in the pipeline, including practical training for the airport’s reception staff to offer better information for anyone with a few hours to spare who would like to leave the airport by catching a shuttle bus, as well as for those on a 24-hour stopover who might like to explore the region by hiring a car. There will be a specific section for these 2 alternatives on our website www.cm-tourisme.be.”
Ryanair and Charleroi Métropole launch a promotional video
Today, Ryanair launched a new promotional video with Charleroi Métropole, encouraging tourism in Charleroi and its geographical sphere of influence. This video, accompanied by a series of articles and a press trip with bloggers from the United Kingdom and Ireland, was organised within the context of Ryanair’s travel guide series, Try Somewhere New, and the development of Charleroi Métropole’s tourism strategy.
During their stay in Belgium, the bloggers had the chance to explore:
- Urban and cultural attractions: A Street Art experience, photography museums, the BPS22 gallery, Rockerill etc.
- The great outdoors: The Viroin Hermeton Nature Park and the Forêt du Pays de Chimay, with the option to camp out in a bivouac.
- Sports: the Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure and all of its activities: a high ropes course, windsurfing, paddleboarding, ski towing, diving etc.
- Fantastic food and drink: Our breweries, La Manufacture Urbaine, Chimay, the Eaux Vives brewery etc.
Ryanair’s Try Somewhere New campaign was launched in 2018 and offers travel guides, top tips and advice for travellers who want to explore the towns and regions around Ryanair’s destinations in Europe and beyond. Part of Ryanair.com, the content of Try Somewhere New is viewed by one of the largest online audiences in Europe.
To celebrate the launch of this video, Ryanair has launched a special offer with tickets starting at just €9.99 to travel until the end of January 2020, and available to book until midnight on Friday 8 November, exclusively via the website http://www.ryanair.com.
Hélène BEGASSE, PR & Communications Manager, Benelux, France and Morocco for Ryanair: “We are delighted to be launching the very first Try Somewhere New video for Charleroi, promoting Charleroi and the surrounding area as a fantastic travel destination for people of all ages. Ryanair continues to grow at Charleroi airport, with 86 connections in summer 2020, and bringing more than 6.4 million customers a year, supporting over 6,400 airport jobs.
To celebrate the launch of our Try Somewhere New video for Charleroi, we are launching a special offer for our European network, with tickets starting at just €9.99 to travel until the end of January 2020, and available to book until midnight on Friday 8 November. As these incredibly low prices are bound to be snapped in no time, customers should go to www.ryanair.com as soon as possible to make the most of the offer.”
As far as Brussels South Charleroi Airport is concerned, Philippe VERDONCK, Chief Executive Officer, explains: “The work done on the project by the different stakeholders fits in with our strategy. Indeed, we are keen to grow in an ecosystem in which everyone has the chance to realise their potential, whilst contributing their knowledge of their particular sector, in everyone’s best interests. By building on Brussels South Charleroi Airport’s roots within its region, we are acting as a hub for tourist mobility. We hope to continue this work and help more travellers of different nationalities explore Charleroi Métropole, thanks to the impressive network offered by the airlines at BSCA.”
Charleroi, 5 November 2019