Home » How Belgium surging tourism industry with visa free entry of 102 countries including United States, UK and United Arab Emirates? – Travel And Tour World

How Belgium surging tourism industry with visa free entry of 102 countries including United States, UK and United Arab Emirates? – Travel And Tour World

How Belgium surging tourism industry with visa free entry of 102 countries including United States, UK and United Arab Emirates? – Travel And Tour World

Saturday, June 22, 2024

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Belgium, at the heart of Europe, is a prime destination known for its medieval towns, Renaissance architecture, and its role as the headquarters of the European Union and NATO. It attracts a diverse range of travelers, from business and corporate travelers attending meetings and conferences to leisure travelers and holidaymakers exploring its cultural and historical sites. To facilitate easier and more convenient travel, Belgium, as a Schengen Area member, implements visa-free entry policies for numerous countries. This makes it an attractive destination for both short-term business travel and extended leisure stays. These policies support the influx of holidaymakers eager to explore Belgium’s vibrant cities and scenic countryside, as well as corporate travel professionals attending events and conventions. Below is a detailed breakdown of these policies, categorized by region, along with authentic citations and the footfall from each nation, showcasing how Belgium continues to boost its tourism industry through strategic visa-free entry agreements.

Visa-Free Entry Categories

1. Schengen Area Countries

Citizens of Schengen Area countries enjoy visa-free entry to Belgium, promoting seamless travel across member states.

Countries (in alphabetical order):

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia
  14. Liechtenstein
  15. Lithuania
  16. Luxembourg
  17. Malta
  18. Netherlands
  19. Norway
  20. Poland
  21. Portugal
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Spain
  25. Sweden
  26. Switzerland

Footfall: The largest numbers of tourists from Schengen countries visiting Belgium in 2022 came from France (2.5 million), the Netherlands (1.9 million), and Germany (1.2 million).

2. EU/EEA Countries Not in the Schengen Area

EU/EEA countries not part of the Schengen Area also benefit from visa-free travel to Belgium.


  1. Bulgaria
  2. Croatia
  3. Cyprus
  4. Ireland
  5. Romania

Footfall: In 2022, Belgium welcomed approximately 350,000 tourists from Ireland, and 200,000 from Romania.

3. Visa-Exempt Countries Outside the Schengen Area

Belgium offers visa-free entry to citizens of several non-Schengen countries, fostering greater tourism diversity.


  1. Albania
  2. Andorra
  3. Antigua and Barbuda
  4. Argentina
  5. Australia
  6. Bahamas
  7. Barbados
  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  9. Brazil
  10. Brunei
  11. Canada
  12. Chile
  13. Colombia
  14. Costa Rica
  15. Dominica
  16. El Salvador
  17. Georgia
  18. Grenada
  19. Guatemala
  20. Honduras
  21. Hong Kong (SAR China)
  22. Israel
  23. Japan
  24. Kiribati
  25. Macao (SAR China)
  26. Malaysia
  27. Marshall Islands
  28. Mauritius
  29. Mexico
  30. Micronesia
  31. Moldova
  32. Monaco
  33. Montenegro
  34. New Zealand
  35. Nicaragua
  36. North Macedonia
  37. Palau
  38. Panama
  39. Paraguay
  40. Peru
  41. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  42. Saint Lucia
  43. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  44. Samoa
  45. San Marino
  46. Serbia
  47. Seychelles
  48. Singapore
  49. Solomon Islands
  50. South Korea
  51. Taiwan
  52. Timor-Leste
  53. Tonga
  54. Trinidad and Tobago
  55. Tuvalu
  56. Ukraine
  57. United Arab Emirates
  58. United Kingdom
  59. United States
  60. Uruguay
  61. Vanuatu
  62. Vatican City
  63. Venezuela

Footfall: The most significant numbers of tourists from visa-exempt non-Schengen countries in 2022 were from the United States (1.1 million), the United Kingdom (900,000), and Canada (500,000).

4. Countries with Specific Visa Waiver Agreements

Belgium has bilateral agreements that grant visa-free entry to certain countries not widely exempted by general EU policies.


  1. Argentina
  2. Brazil
  3. Japan
  4. South Korea
  5. Israel
  6. United States
  7. United Kingdom

Footfall: In 2022, Belgium saw significant arrivals from Japan (200,000) and South Korea (150,000), benefiting from these specific agreements.

Total Footfall from Visa-Free Countries

To provide a comprehensive view, we sum the international arrivals from the major visa-free regions:

  • Schengen Area: 8.6 million
  • EU/EEA Non-Schengen: 550,000
  • Visa-Exempt Non-Schengen: 2.5 million
  • Specific Agreements: 350,000

Thus, Belgium welcomed approximately 12 million international tourists from visa-free countries in 2022.

1. Rich Cultural Heritage

Belgium is steeped in history and culture, boasting UNESCO World Heritage sites, medieval towns, and Renaissance architecture.

  • Brussels: The capital city is home to iconic landmarks such as the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Atomium, a symbol of modern architecture.
  • Bruges: Known as the “Venice of the North,” Bruges enchants visitors with its canals, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved medieval buildings.
  • Ghent and Antwerp: These cities are rich in art and history, featuring stunning cathedrals, vibrant cultural scenes, and world-class museums.

2. Culinary Delights

Belgium is renowned for its culinary offerings, from decadent chocolates to world-famous beers and hearty dishes.

  • Belgian Waffles and Chocolates: Indulge in freshly made waffles and artisanal chocolates from renowned Belgian chocolatiers.
  • Beer Culture: Belgium is a beer lover’s paradise, with a rich tradition of brewing and an extensive variety of beers, including Trappist ales and Lambics.
  • Gastronomy: With its Michelin-starred restaurants and local delicacies like mussels and fries, Belgium offers a gourmet experience.

3. Strategic Location and Connectivity

Belgium’s central location in Europe makes it a convenient starting point for exploring the continent.

  • Proximity to Major European Cities: Easily accessible from Paris, Amsterdam, and London via high-speed trains, Belgium serves as a gateway to Europe.
  • Efficient Public Transport: Belgium boasts an excellent public transportation system, including a reliable train network that connects major cities and neighboring countries.

4. Vibrant Festivals and Events

Belgium hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and arts to food and history.

  • Tomorrowland: One of the world’s largest electronic dance music festivals, attracting thousands of visitors globally.
  • Brussels Flower Carpet: A biennial event where the Grand Place is adorned with a stunning flower carpet, drawing crowds from all over the world.
  • Carnival of Binche: A UNESCO-recognized event known for its vibrant parades and historical significance.

Top Airlines and Airports in Belgium

Top Airlines

  1. Brussels Airlines
    • Overview: The national carrier of Belgium, Brussels Airlines, offers extensive routes across Europe, Africa, and North America.
    • Services: Known for its quality service and connectivity, it provides a seamless travel experience with hubs at major airports worldwide.
  2. TUI fly Belgium
    • Overview: A popular choice for leisure travel, TUI fly Belgium operates flights to various destinations in Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
    • Services: Offers affordable travel packages and charter services, catering mainly to holidaymakers.
  3. Ryanair
    • Overview: A major low-cost airline, Ryanair connects Belgium to numerous European cities, making it a preferred choice for budget-conscious travelers.
    • Services: Known for its extensive European network and competitive pricing.

Top Airports

  1. Brussels Airport (BRU)
    • Location: Situated in Zaventem, about 12 km northeast of Brussels.
    • Overview: The main international gateway to Belgium, handling over 25 million passengers annually.
    • Facilities: Offers a wide range of services, including extensive shopping and dining options, and serves as a hub for Brussels Airlines.
  2. Charleroi Airport (CRL)
    • Location: Located 46 km south of Brussels, near Charleroi.
    • Overview: Primarily serves low-cost carriers like Ryanair, making it a popular airport for budget travelers.
    • Facilities: Offers basic services and convenient access to many European destinations.
  3. Antwerp International Airport (ANR)
    • Location: Just 5 km from the city center of Antwerp.
    • Overview: A smaller airport, focusing on business travel and short-haul flights within Europe.
    • Facilities: Provides quick and efficient services, ideal for corporate travelers looking for fast connections.

Belgium’s visa-free entry policies significantly boost its tourism industry by simplifying travel for millions of visitors annually. These policies, combined with Belgium’s rich cultural offerings and strategic location in Europe, make it an attractive destination for tourists from across the globe. The ease of entry for Schengen countries, EU/EEA members, and many non-Schengen nations continues to drive Belgium’s tourism success.