How Brussels can Start Its Road Towards Healing

tourism in brussels after the attacks

Healing is never easy especially if the cause of the wounds is something as tragic and senseless as the Brussels Terror attacks. The coordinated attacks involved two suicide bombers who detonated at the Brussels Airport and another one that detonated at the Brussels Metro Station. The former killed 16 while the latter killed 18. A total of 270 people were also injured in the attacks. The bombings prompted the Belgian government to raise the highest terror alert level and lockdown not only the airport and metro station but also tourist hotels in the city. The city was virtually paralyzed, stranding thousands of people. So how can Brussels and its people recover from the tragedy? One of the areas the Brussels government should look into is its tourism. Before the attacks, the capital had a booming tourism industry. Each day, people from at least 40 different nationalities walk its streets.

tourism in parisEuropean tourism plunges after Brussels and Paris terror attacks

Holiday bookings are down throughout Western Europe after two terrorist attacks in four months alter the perception of safety on the continent.

Immediately after the Brussels bombings, hotel occupancy in Belgium plunged to 25 percent, down from 82 percent the night before, the Wall Street Journal cites STR, a company that tracks hotel industry data. Read More…

1. Rekindle Tourism

One of ways for Brussels to get back on its feet is to bring back the tourists. Not only will the tourists provide income to city so it has more resources to spend in the restoration, seeing the streets filled with happy tourists will also lighten the mood and help the survivors forget the pain and fear caused by the tragedy. But will Brussels be able to regain the trust of tourists? The best way is to convince tourists that they will be safe in the city. Show them that the government is on top of things and will not let anything like the Brussels attack happen again. So how exactly can Brussels make tourists feel safe again?

2. Safety First

The government should evaluate its current safety and security standards and make any changes and fixes necessary. After making sure that the entire city is actually safe, the next step is to tell people about it. It should conduct a comprehensive information campaign about the improvements in security measures and protocols. It should also include any lapses the previous protocols had and how such lapses were addressed.

3. Constant Communication

The government should be open to the public about everything it is doing. People should know all that is going on until the terror alert is lifted and things finally go back to normal. Lack of communication will just lead to doubt and anxiety. Communication also tells the people that you are doing something about the issue. Also issue frequent reminders on how people can keep themselves safe.

4. Proper Timing

The government cannot just begin promoting its tourism anytime it wants. It must first make sure the city is truly ready to accommodate tourists or it will just further damage its reputation. Make sure everything tourists wanted to see and do before is available again. Also ensure that the citizens are ready to mingle with tourists again.