A recent study has revealed that tourists who explore the Flemish cities of art, including Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Leuven, Mechelen, and Brussels, report overall high levels

of satisfaction with their visits. These findings are the result of a survey conducted by Visit Flanders in collaboration with the tourism authorities of these cities.

Conducted every five years in the tourism sector, the survey showed that leisure tourists provided an average satisfaction rating of 8.7 out of 10. Day visitors also expressed their satisfaction, with scores ranging from 8.3 to 8.8 out of 10.

In the previous survey, local tourists reported an average satisfaction score of 8.4 out of 10. Notably, British and American tourists were among the most delighted, with scores approaching 9 out of 10. In contrast, visitors from the Netherlands and Italy were somewhat more critical in their assessments.

Overnight tourists now spend an average of 152 euros per person per night in these cultural cities, representing a decrease of 26 euros compared to five years ago. The inflation experienced in 2022 played a significant role in this change. Visit Flanders noted that visitors primarily economize on food and beverages, but they continue to invest in attractions, museums, and monuments, highlighting the enduring importance of the overall experience.

Belgium's own citizens emerge as the most generous visitors, spending an average of 181 euros per person per night. In contrast, Spaniards are the most frugal among the six listed art cities, with an average expenditure of 121 euros per person per night. Day visitors, depending on the city, spend between 29 and 55 euros per person.

The activities that received the highest ratings include visiting monuments, museums, and attractions, as well as enjoying drinks or dinner and shopping. Most shoppers opt for purchasing chocolate, beer, and souvenirs.

Flemish Tourism Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) commented, "We spared no effort in placing our art cities back on the international map after the challenging years of the pandemic. The increasing visitor satisfaction demonstrates that, despite the many challenges faced by the tourism industry, Art Cities continue to provide a high-quality experience."

The survey was conducted from April 2022 to March 2023, involving 4,589 leisure overnight tourists and 3,368 day tourists.