An international airport: added value for the capital of Europe
Experts confirm that an international airport with its direct connections to the rest of the world is a major asset for the economic and cultural development of a city.
1. Encouraging tourism
In its strategic plan ‘Be Welcome, be.brussels’1, the Brussels tourist office visit.brussels has set itself the goal of reaching 10 million overnight stays in Brussels in 2020, compared to about 7 million a year at the present time. To reach this figure, our capital city must attract more tourists from other continents. The best way to do this is to create direct connections to cities on these other continents. The Brussels-Tokyo route was inaugurated at the end of 2015 by All Nippon Airways (ANA), for example, and this has brought more Japanese tourists to our capital.
2. Supporting exports
One of the objectives set by the Brussels-Capital Region in its 2025 strategy2 is the intensification of economic and commercial relations between Brussels companies and foreign partners. "Belgium is a small market, so company expansion and job creation can only be ensured by looking abroad", the Brussels Government underlines in this document. Each new direct connection from Brussels Airport opens up new export opportunities for Brussels-based companies.
3. Attracting foreign companies to Brussels
It is more essential than ever to offer a wide range of connections to the rest of the world to encourage investment and the setting up of new businesses in Brussels. If Brussels does not seize this opportunity, neighbouring countries certainly will. Airports like Schiphol and Frankfurt already have a head start.
4. Creating employment
Brussels Airport is now the largest private employer in Brussels, with approximately 3000 direct employees from Brussels, plus at least 6000 indirect jobs, notably in tourism and the hotel and catering industry. Brussels Airport is expected to continue growing at the same pace as the European aviation sector over the coming years. This growth is essential to significantly increase the number of jobs for Brussels residents at Brussels Airport.
5. Confirming the status of Brussels as an international capital
Brussels is the world's top diplomatic capital, due in particular to the presence on its territory of European Union institutions and the headquarters of NATO. Brussels also hosts the head offices of many domestic and foreign companies and can even boast of being the top conference city in the world, ahead of Singapore, Seoul and Paris3. In order for Brussels to maintain its leading role at an international level, it is essential that it strengthens its direct air connections with the rest of the world.