Tourism and recreation | Compendium Coast and Sea

Tourism and recreation

Europe is the most visited tourist region in the world, and in addition to preserving natural, historical or cultural assets, the sector also ensures the development, innovation and diversification of various products and services. Blue tourism (including the cruise sector) is the biggest driver of the European Blue Economy. The Belgian coast is the most popular holiday destination in the country. Every year, the region records more than five million arrivals and almost 28 million overnight stays in residential tourism. In addition to coastal tourism, tourism in the hinterland also accounts for a significant number of arrivals and overnight stays.

The thematic chapter gives an overview of the current knowledge on policy and spatial use, as well as some socio-economic data, the main ecological impact of the sector and sustainability measures. The regulations that apply to this activity are discussed in more detail under 'Legislation', while the figures and underlying data are made available interactively via the 'Coastal Portal'. More information on the expertise available in the Belgian marine research groups and their relevant research infrastructure can be obtained via 'Research groups' and 'Infrastructure'.