TITLE:				VISIT USA TRAVEL AND TOURISM
				WORKSHOP IN BRUSSELS

SUBJECT COUNTRY (IES):		BELGIUM

POST OF ORIGIN:			BRUSSELS

SERIES:				INTERNATIONAL MARKET INSIGHT (IMI)

ITA INDUSTRY CODE:		TRA

DATE OF REPORT (YYMMDD):	000320

DELETION DATE (YYMMDD):		010320

AUTHOR:				BRIGITTE DE STEXHE
	
APPROVING OFFICER:		GEORGE KNOWLES

OFFICER'S TITLE:		COMMERCIAL COUNSELOR

NUMBER OF PAGES:		3
			
INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT, U.S. & FOREIGN COMMERCIAL SERVICE AND 
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 1999.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED OUTSIDE OF 
THE UNITED STATES

Summary.  Over 300 travel professionals visited the spring 2000 
USA Workshop in Brussels. In total, 51 Exhibitors represented 
airlines, hotel groups, destinations, attractions, car rentals, 
tour operators, cruise lines and other travel and tourism 
companies from Belgium and the United States.  The impressive 
level of attendance reflects the growing trend in the number of 
visitors from Belgium to the United States.  Although Belgium is 
a small country, approximately the size of Maryland with a 
population of 10 million, over 250,000 visitors from Belgium are 
expected to visit the United States in 2000.  Belgian arrivals 
in the United States are expected to continue to increase.  
Deputy Chief of Mission Martin Cheshes emphasized the continued 
support of the Commercial Service in the promotion of travel and 
tourism in the U.S. as he toured the exhibition and spoke with 
exhibitors and visitors.

The Visit U.S.A. Committee organized the Visit USA Travel and 
Tourism Workshop that took place in Brussels on Thursday, March 
9, 2000.  Participating in the Workshop is one of the membership 
benefits of the Visit USA Committee. This major annual event, 
which now has a prime position on the promotion calendar, 
provides a workshop format for companies and organizations on 
both sides of the Atlantic to offer their services to the local 
travel industry.  It is exclusively opened to the trade.

This professional show has been organized by the Visit USA 
Committee for the past 15 years with assistance and support from 
the Commercial Service.  It always takes place just before 
ITB/Berlin.  Over the years, the Brussels Workshop has become an 
inevitable stop before ITB.

Before the opening of the Workshop, the exhibitors attended the 
annual general assembly of the Visit USA Committee.  During the 
meeting, the members were informed of the major reorganization 
of the Visit USA Committee that is expected to increase the 
number of visitors from Belgium to the U.S. by placing more 
emphasis on promotion via the press and multimedia directly to 
the travel professionals.

The tombola, which was sponsored by Visit USA Committee members, 
featured an impressive list of travel packages and other 
attractive prices.  The tombola provides a powerful promotional 
opportunity for the sponsors.

In addition to this year's workshop, three representatives of 
the U.S. Embassy Consular section briefed travel agents about 
visa procedures.  

The overall comments about the 2000 Brussels Workshop both from 
the exhibitors and the attendees were extremely positive. 

This report comprises a portion of CS Brussels' contribution to 
the Showcase Europe (SCE) series of reports focusing on Travel 
and Tourism.  For more information on the U.S. Department of 
Commerce's SCE strategy for promoting exports of American goods 
and services to Europe, and the SCE Single Market Strategy, 
please contact the SCE Travel and Tourism Sector Coordinator at 
the American Embassy in London:

Gail del Rosal
Commercial Officer
24-31 Grosvenor Square
London W1A 1AE, England
	or
U.S. mailing address:
PSC 801, Box 58, FPO AE 09498-4058

Tel: 44.20.7409 2927
Fax: 44.20.7495 2944
E-mail: london.office.box@mail.doc.gov
The Showcase Europe Web-site is http://www.sce.doc.gov

For more information on Travel and Tourism in Belgium and how 
the Commercial Service can assist US companies develop their 
business, contact:

Brigitte de Stexhe
Foreign Commercial Service (FCS)
American Embassy
27 Bd du R‚gent
1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: 32.2.508-2454
Fax: 32.2.512-3644
E-mail: Brigitte.de.stexhe@mail.doc.gov
The FCS Web-site is: http://www.us.-embassy.be

For more information on how to join the Visit USA Committee, 
contact:

Steve Hellemans, Director
VISIT USA TOURISM CENTER
Bd General Jacques 203
1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: 32/2/643-4342
Fax: 32/2/648-4022
E-mail: info@visitusa.org
The Visit USA website is: http//www.visitusa.org