On 26 February 2019, the Flemish Minister for Tourism and Tourism Flanders presented the first 6 meeting locations that join the network of the 'Flanders heritage venues'. This is a network of inspiring meeting locations that the local conference bureaus, together with Tourism Flanders, are expanding and promoting internationally. The minister also announced 11 other meeting locations that will start the guidance process in 2019. Flanders wants to attract even more international conferences in the coming years. The Flanders heritage venues play a major role in this. Meeting locations with a unique heritage experience and professional services receive intensive guidance from VISITFLANDERS to grow into 'Flanders heritage venues'. 6 meeting locations successfully completed this guidance process in 2018 and are now joining the network of the 'Flanders heritage venues'. They are the highlights with which Flanders promotes itself internationally as a conference destination:
Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp, he renovated conference center next to the Antwerp Zoo that has been able to receive numerous international conferences since April 2017;
Botanic Gardens, hhe former Elzenveld Hotel and Congress next to the "Botaniek" in Antwerp, which will open completely renewed at the end of 2019;
Thor Central, the former main building of the Waterschei (Genk) mine that opened as a meeting location in April 2017;
Bokrijk, which offers meeting space in the castle and two historic houses in the open air museum;
De Hoorn, he former brewery of Stella Artois in Leuven;
Het Predikheren, the fully restored Preachers' Convent in Mechelen, will open at the end of 2019 as a city library, meeting place for the neighborhood and international meeting location.
The Flemish Minister of Tourism also announced the 11 meeting locations that Tourism Flanders selected for the guidance process in 2019. These are the Augustijnenklooster (Ghent), House Le Neuf (Edegem), the Antwerp Trade Fair, Botanic Garden Meise, Alden Biezen (Bilzen), the old mining site of Heusden-Zolder, the Saint Magdalena Church (Bruges), the Provincial Court (Bruges), Kursaal in Ostend, Hotel de la Poste (Tour & Taxis site in Brussels) and the Brussels Stock Exchange.
n addition to the 6 Flanders heritage venues and the 11 selected locations for 2019, there are also 9 locations that were already selected in 2018 and are still in full support:
ICC-Ghent, Sint-Pietersabdij, STAM en Muziekcentrum De Bijloke in Gent
Lamot in Mechelen
Faculty Club, Iers College en Abdij van Park in Leuven
C-Mine in Genk.
PPeter De Wilde, CEO of VISITFLANDERS: “We want to unite the meeting locations and conference agencies around the joint promotion of Flanders as a conference destination and around the new brand" Create tomorrow's heritage ". With this new brand, we are establishing Flanders as a destination that inspires conference participants. A place where you can invent the heritage of tomorrow together. We will launch this new concept on May 22, 2019 at IMEX Frankfurt, one of the largest international trade fairs for the meeting industry. Thanks to the collaboration with the local conference bureaus and the meeting locations themselves, Tourism Flanders succeeded in 2018 in convincing 58 international associations to organize their congress in Flanders. We want to bring more than 300 international association congresses to Flanders by 2021 ”.