Strategic plan for tourism in Aalst

Strategic plan for tourism in Aalst

When you think of Aalst, you think of Carnival. Although this is true, it’s not the whole story. Aalst is a historic city and a modern city, in the process of transforming itself. From a tourist point of view, Aalst is relatively unknown and a little bit unloved. However, that will soon change. With a healthy dose of audacity, the city is about to strengthen its tourist base and claim its place in tourist Flanders.

Two challenges

Raising the quality of what it has to offer in terms of heritage, culture, retail, catering and hospitality to above the regional level. Making the city more attractive to creative talent and visitors.  In other words, city-making and city-marketing! This is often the challenge for cities in Flanders.....

One approach

To give us the edge, we have drawn up a strategy that is based on Aalst's very own DNA.

The focus is on strengthening the tourist and economic position of the city in its specific context. However, it isn't just about attracting more tourists to Aalst, it is also about getting more of the local residents of Aalst involved in tourism. And so when the strategy was devised, the principle of co-creation was embedded in the plan and its roll-out. The approach is the same as with the Carnival, which only comes to fruition with everyone working together.

The strategic plan has evolved thanks to the involvement of various people and companies working in tourism and field experts based in Aalst as well as elsewhere. The result is an inspirational and popular plan for and tailored to tourism in Aalst.

Getting the basics right then adding extras

Developing the city as a tourist destination is the main goal of the new strategy. The identity of the city, its core values, strategic challenges and starting points were mapped out. The strategy focuses on raising the city’s profile and proactively involving local residents by getting the basic offering right then adding extras. The plan provides the necessary tools to achieve breakthroughs, across all the different sections.

Creativity, satire, craftsmanship and audacity.

These tourist breakthroughs will be inspired by individuality and the different stories the city will tell. The core values of Aalst - craftsmanship, creativity, satire and guts - are both a source of inspiration and an assessment framework. New initiatives strengthen and express the identity of the city. And it is the city’s identity that is then expressed in its marketing communications.

Your next destination? Aalst!

arrow team members
foto Michelle Accardo
Michelle Accardo
Senior Expert Regional & Urban Development / Culture & Tourism