British and Irish travel agents rediscover Westhoek: ‘Brexit still makes getting out tough’

British and Irish travel agents rediscover Westhoek: 'Brexit still makes getting out tough'

Irish and British travel agents will discover all that Westhoek has to offer them this week at Talbot House in Poperinge. They took off in our area and had the opportunity to strike agreements with about 20 local partners during a trade show at Talbot House. “With projects like this, we are building the future of tourism,” says director Simon Luaghi.

“For three days, travel agents will visit the region with numerous visits to museums, breweries, cemeteries and also some new perspectives for the Horizon 2020 project. After the pandemic and Brexit, British tour operators are now hiring new staff,” says Simon Luage, director of Talbot House. Also urgently to information about our Westhoek. “We are also very interested in presenting them to the New Year 2023 of Westtoer and VISITFLANDERS, where landscapes are the last witness. With such projects, we continue to build the future of tourism. It is already the third family journey Organized by Talbot House this fall with the support of Visit Flanders and many local partners. In this way we are trying to do our part to further stimulate tourism in Westhoek and Hoppestad.”

A trade show was organized at Talbot House where travel agents were given the opportunity to make arrangements with around 20 local partners. It was possible to learn about De Lork, Skindles Guesthouse, Peace Village, Cruising Along the Frontline, Tourism Poperinge, Bellewaerde… Visitors also get the chance to take in the Christmas atmosphere of the Talbot House during the story tour. It’s my first time visiting Talbot House, and even Belgium. “We met Simon at an international travel fair and he spoke very passionately about the house we definitely wanted to visit,” said Becky, who works for SLT Tours in Leeds (UK). We specialize in organizing sports and study trips. Groups that travel to this area usually visit military cemeteries and important monuments. We will definitely add the Talbot House, as it is definitely an added value. It’s a home that’s full of history, tells a story and has a strong look.”

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At Talbot House in Poperinge, Irish and British travel agents will discover Westhoek and local partners this week. © LBR

Visitor numbers

“Last October, we saw school attendance figures in the UK again close to pre-pandemic levels in 2019,” says Simon. “We’ve had a very good year. It’s been on the rise, so we’re happy about that. Because of Brexit, it’s still difficult to come to Belgium. At the same time, moving to the UK is not so easy anymore,” adds Rolf Jonckery. Public relations officer at Talbot House.

“In percentage terms, we used to have more British visitors here. Now we see more Flemings finding their way to Talbot House. This also fits with our vision for the future of attracting the general public, including the people of Poperinge, here. We will continue to innovate, because Talbot House still has a lot to offer.”

During a trade show at Talbot House, travel agents were given the opportunity to make arrangements with around 20 local partners.
During a trade show at Talbot House, travel agents were given the opportunity to make arrangements with around 20 local partners. © LBR

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