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“The hotel industry expects an occupancy rate of 70%”

The Minister of Tourism wants to be more than confident about the tourist season to come. It is also counting on a whole host of initiatives to attract the curious.

Lex Delles, Minister of Tourism

Simon Laurent MARTIN

The Minister of Tourism wants to be more than confident about the tourist season to come. It is also counting on a whole host of initiatives to attract the curious.

We have written it several times, one of the sectors most impacted by the pandemic is none other than tourism. This has paid a heavy price for the successive confinements decreed in the four corners of the world, as well as in Luxembourg. Although Luxembourg tourism is tending to recover gradually according to the latest Statec data, the figures for the 1st quarter of 2022 nevertheless remain below the levels of 2019 (around 30%, both in terms of arrivals than nights).


Official reopening Casemates de la Pétrusse - Luxembourg - City - - 02/06/2022 - photo: claude piscitelli

Thanks to an innovative audiovisual scenography, the Pétrusse casemates shine in a new light.


It does not matter for Lex Delles (DP), the Minister of Tourism. After two years of pandemic, the latter wants to be more confident than ever about the coming summer. “Let us first differentiate between so-called “business” tourism and “leisure” tourism. With regard to the first, during the crisis, we went more into a hybrid mode with remote work. Fortunately, Luxembourg already had the necessary infrastructure for this. Today, we notice that the face-to-face is back in force with a lot of reservations in Luxembourg for September and October. The figures are up sharply for the third quarter of 2022. However, it is clear that the hybrid mode will last over time.

A new advantage

Which can also be a significant asset, according to the minister. “It happens that we fail to attract congresses of several thousand people because we do not always have the necessary structures to accommodate so many people. Thanks to the hybrid mode, Luxembourg can now position itself for other conferences for which Luxembourg was not the first choice destination before.”


ARCHIV - Zum Themendienst-Bericht vom 13. May 2022: Vielen Stauden ist der Chelsea Chop eine Hilfe, über einen längeren Zeitraum Blüten zu produzieren.  Photo: Andrea Warnecke/dpa-tmn - Honorarfrei nur Bezieher des dpa-Themendienstes +++ dpa-Themendienst +++

Historical, contemporary, private or public, a total of 39 gardens can be visited during the second edition of the “Rendez-vous aux jardins” which takes place from June 3 to 6.


With regard to so-called “leisure” tourism, Lex Delles also speaks of a positive development for 2022. “We noticed a clear recovery in the months of May and June, which coincided with the end of most sanitary restrictions”, he confirms. Already in 2021, the first signs of a tourism recovery had already been felt. “In 2019, the total number of overnight stays (hotels, campsites, youth hostels) was 2.85 million for a total arrivals of 1.17 million. In 2020, the first year of the crisis, the number of overnight stays fell to 1.52 million for a total of 660,000 arrivals. In 2021, overnight stays rose slightly to 1.58 million.

A national tourism strategy

It is therefore clear that the Minister aims to return to pre-crisis figures for this year 2022 or at least to get closer to them. “We are counting in particular on tourists from neighboring or nearby countries who are the most numerous to go to Luxembourg each time: Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany”, specifies the Minister.


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And to achieve this, the ministry has put in place a national tourism strategy which will therefore apply for this next season. “We want to give each tourist much more than he expected when visiting Luxembourg. This is why we want to adopt a strategy aimed at several target groups: those who wish to explore the country on their own, those who are fond of nature and the environment as well as those who only come for a short period. to escape.”

Investments

This necessarily requires several investments. “This has been done in particular at the level of hiking, but also at the level of cycle tourism”, notes the Minister. But that’s not all, with the campaign “Lëtzebuerg, dat ass Vakanz” (Luxembourg is holidays, in French) focuses this year on gastronomic tourism with the project “Vakanz genéissen” (Enjoy your holidays, in French).


Contacto.Mullerthal-UNESCO Welt Geopark.Photo: Gerry Huberty/Luxemburger Wort

A month ago, UNESCO listed the Mullerthal as one of the 177 global geoparks. Immerse yourself in this exceptional forest with various experts and specialists, to understand the history and potential of one of the most remarkable valleys on the planet.


Concretely, this project consists in bringing together a hundred people around a table, installed on idyllic tourist sites. As a mobile installation, the table will be set up and taken down in six different places during the weekends from July 23 to August 28, 2022. “The dinners will allow you to savor regional products and highlight the know-how of the national terroir” , announces Lex Delles.

Thanks to these various initiatives, the ministry expects a positive start to the 2022 tourist season. “The hotel industry expects an occupancy rate of 60-70% for the months of May and June 2022. is not aiming for two million overnight stays or 100,000 overnight stays in hostels. We do not want to bet on the quantity, but rather on the quality of tourism.

We are not aiming for two million overnight stays this year. We do not want to bet on the quantity, but rather on the quality of tourism.

Lex Delles, Minister of Tourism

And then, the ministry now benefits from a particularly useful tool for counting and analyzing tourist numbers. “We have recently been able to know the route of people arriving in Luxembourg as well as their country of origin, via their telephone. By this means, we also manage to identify tourists who come only for a single day, which was difficult to do before, “explains the minister.



This new 33 kilometer circuit crosses three countries. A path with high symbolic value promises an experience without borders.


“The idea being to be able to differentiate between tourists who only come to Luxembourg for one day and who stay elsewhere in the Greater Region and those who stay in the Grand Duchy during their stay. This will also allow us to target our advertising. For example: if we see that a person has visited the castle of Vianden, we could redirect them to other castles, etc.

If the image of a country of “business” sticks to the skin of Luxembourg, Lex Delles ensures that the Grand Duchy is also a “tourist destination” of choice. “For Luxembourgers or for the inhabitants of the Greater Region, Luxembourg is perhaps not a tourist destination and that is precisely why we have set up this campaign because we want to show that our country is a destination of choice. Before the crisis, there were tourists who came from England, Scandinavian countries, China and even the United States. These people came for tourism purposes.


Aus der schwimmenden Herberge haben die Besucher Sicht auf den Wasserturm und das Viertel Italian.

Accommodation options along the Minett-Trail should be as original as possible. In Dudelange, a floating hostel will be built.


For Lex Delles, the Grand Duchy has its own specificities which are enough to seduce more than one. “Luxembourg has five very different regions on a territory that is nevertheless limited, which is very rare. Not to mention that we have a European capital with a formidable heritage registered with Unesco. I myself rediscovered the city during a guided tour a few years ago. I discovered places that I have never seen and I invite residents or border workers to do the same. In the north of the country, you have nature, huge forests, hiking possibilities as well as castles. To the south, in the Moselle, 20 minutes from the capital, you can find vineyards as well as picturesque villages. In short, despite its size, Luxembourg is full of different landscapes that allow a total change of scenery.

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