Beer tourism: local products as tourism asset.
Context
Breweries, beers and bars are part of Flemish culture. East-Flanders is home to some very distinctive and ancient family breweries together with lots of young, creative and passionate beerlovers starting up new small breweries.

Objectives
Tourism East-Flanders has created trendy and popular tourist products and made beer a real tourism asset. Thanks to a great cooperation with brewers and beer serving enterpreneurs, the ‘Plan Beer’ campaign and products became very successful.

Implementation
Tourism East-Flanders organised inspirational workshop and gatherings with brewers and tourism actors, to enhance the creativity and cooperation for beer tourism production.
Tourism East-Flanders inspired and motivated breweries to start or to enlarge possibilities for tourist visits in their breweries.
Tourism East-Flanders organised a wide spread marketing campaign, making beer tourism trendy.
1) multilingual websites
2) social media, also Youtube
3) a ‘special edition ’ of the major tourist magazine by Tourism East Flanders
4) 3 free maps ‘Plan Beer’ with each
- 3 walking tours
- 4 cycling tours
- tips and ideas for bars and pubs
- beer selling points
5) a pocket (for sale)
- 110 pages
- storytelling on brewers and beer experts
- information about beers
- 6 routes
Stakeholders
Brewers, beer serving or selling entrepreneurs, municipalities, lodging sector, media

Resources needed

Spread over 5 years we spent 130.000-140.000 on marketing Plan Beer, mainly used for promotional print and online marketing.A large engagement of our staff was required to set up cooperation and cocreation with breweries&to realise marketing activities.Average a 1/5 FT equivalent in the first 3 yrs

Evidence of success

Thousands of distributed Plan Beer maps, visits and views on websites and Youtube.
Brewery visits and events continuing being successful.
The creation of innovative tourism products was strongly stimulated. Before the project started, brewery visits for individual tourist were inexisting, end 2019 21 breweries created this possibility. Also possibilities for group visits to breweries augmented: from 22 in 2016 to 38 breweries in East Flanders can be visited by tourist groups.

Potential for learning or transfer

Regions with a beer tradition or culture and important regional beer products can easily create tourism products .
The combination of tourism and regional products are easily successful if the regional product is traditional as well as trendy and wide spread.

Cooperation with entrepreneurs is essentially needed, as much as marketing and benefit for the entrepreneurs product.

Other regions have their own regional products that are part of the identity of the tourist region and they can create a similar cooperation of tourist board and producers. Working together on innovation, creation and marketing they are able to realise a new regional tourist offer (by e.g. enlarging the possibities for company visits) It is however important to choose good timing; popularity and trends (in tourism, in media, in life style) are essential for marketing.

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Project
Main institution
Economic Council of East-Flanders
Location
Prov. Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium (Belgique-België)
Start Date
January 2015
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

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