Challenge, context & objectives

A SHARP DOWNWARD TREND IN VISITORS & A PROJECTED REVENUE DROP OF NEARLY €1M

'Flanders Fields 14-18' is a destination program established by the Flemish tourism authority Visit Flanders. Commemorating the First World War, it was designed to attract visitors from European and selected overseas markets to WWI battlefields, cemeteries, memorials and museums in the Belgian region of West Flanders.

In 2014, the centenary of the outbreak of the war, 'Flanders Fields 14-18' helped to drive a record-high number of unique visitors to the area, 789,500. This was an increase of more than 90% versus 2013.

However, the next two years saw marked declines in visitor numbers year-on-year: -37% in 2015, -21% in 2016.

Visitor decline meant revenue from ticket sales declined 30% from € 5.501.870 in 2015 to € 4.200.014 in 2016.

If this trend continued, Flanders Fields projected a loss of 47,309 more unique visitors in 2017 - almost 100,000 visitors short of the targeted goal of 500,000 per year set at the start of the program. This was projected to result in a drop of € 970.000 in ticket sales in 2017 from the 11 main WWI sites in Flanders Fields alone.