The Brussels hospitality sector’s rebounds in the face of the crisis “The crisis is the time to reinvent ourselves.”

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March 2020, the health crisis hits Belgium hard. Today, we are not yet out of this crisis … Faced with this challenge, the sectors of Tourism, Events and Culture have reinvented themselves more than ever to rebound as well as possible. A host of entrepreneurs have shown flexibility and imagination to keep their heads above water while sometimes revealing a lot of solidarity. We have selected a few deserving examples for you.

You never imagined you would experience teambuilding in teleworking?

At this time of the year, many companies wish to organize a teambuilding for their teams in order to end the year on a positive note. That’s why the company Oh-Chef – which usually offers its clients to send chefs to their homes or companies – has turned its offer around by offering cooking classes and virtual tastings to be done between colleagues, all accompanied by a game, enough to federate the teams in a good mood.

A little further on, we discover the company Wannaplay, a Teambuilding Agency at the service of corporate events. In a few weeks, the founders have developed “the detective video”, a cooperative game between teams that plunges you into the role of an inspector looking for the culprit…

As for the company Discover Belgium – a company that for 10 years has been the reference in terms of guided tours of Belgian cities and their flavours – it also had to reinvent itself from a new angle and Delicious Belgium was born. “Our events were put on hold and we thought of a gourmet alternative to thank the employees. A brand new online store, filled with delicious Belgian products, both handmade and organic, was born.

In the continuity of digital tourism, we find Imagine Belgium located on the Grand Place of Brussels. This new Brussels start-up aims to revolutionize the tourism sector by using innovative technologies. Concretely, you have the opportunity to fully enjoy a trip to (re)discover Belgium thanks to a virtual reality experience. By 2021, visitors will enjoy a real 60-minute tourist attraction, combining virtual reality, 360° projections, mapping and 4D.

“Pivot your offer to better reach your target group”

Take your Naki battery and charge your smartphone wherever you are on the go.

With hundreds of Naki Power stations in major European cities, you can rent and return a portable battery when you need it, mainly in restaurants and cafes. Following the crisis we are going through, Naki power has revisited its proposal. After the closure of restaurants and bars, we now find these portable batteries in department stores, which remain accessible to customers. Have you already seen them?

The OneFrame online platform allows public and private companies to digitally display artwork from the vast oneFrame portfolio on any of the company’s screens . Making art accessible to all, a leitmotiv.  During the period of confinement when companies were closed, OneFrame decided to reorient its target and make its digital art catalog available in nursing homes so that through art, the elderly feel less alone.

The Freva company with its e-room kits allows the hotel sector to save up to 30% of energy thanks to connected objects in hotel rooms. Confinement obliges, the company has used its 3D printers and quickly started manufacturing protective screens (plastic visors) for front-line workers free of charge.

In the hotel sector, the Made in Louise, boutique hotel in Ixelles now offers a co-working space for those wishing to telework in a quiet environment.

As for the JAM hotel in Saint Gilles, the rooms of this hotel have been transformed into small spaces to host private parties while respecting the sanitary bubbles.

On the HORECA side, the restaurant le Local Bruxelles , a true innovative laboratory, bringing together in a zero waste kitchen a ballet of overexcited chefs as well as Pistolet original 100% Belgian restaurant have reinforced their Take away and Delivery services to remain as close as possible to the needs of consumers.

“We’re not afraid to be afraid, as an entrepreneur”.

Have you ever thought of experimenting with a digital lunch? This is what the company Foodiz, created in 2020, offers. Convinced that teleworking is destroying corporate culture and team spirit, Foodiz offers employers the opportunity to reconnect their employees by delivering throughout Belgium a “thematic Connect box” delivered at home, just before the start of the digital lunch between colleagues.

Have you ever taken the time to visit the Wiertz Museum, the Palais de Charles de Lorraine, the Librarium, the Milling Museum, the Parlamentarium, the House of European History, the Sewer Museum, the Belgian Comic Strip Center or the National Bank Museum? During the period of confinement, these different museums have given free access to visitors via virtual tours, which will make you want to return to them in person in the near future.

The Events sector, which has been extremely impacted by this health crisis, has had to reinvent itself more than ever. The Konligo company, thanks to an innovative technology, offers – thanks to an innovative technology – robust exhibition stands that can be reused and installed in less than half an hour.  To show their support to the nursing staff, 1000 breakfasts have been deployed at the UZ Brussels hospital under one of their structures.

In the academic world, an action has been set up within ISALT (Bachelor in Tourism and Leisure Management), to support students who have put their trust in the sector. The hashtag #tourismemoijycrois is an action declined in the 3 years of the bachelor’s degree. This initiative allows students to organize activities by inviting partners from the sector to show the prospects of opening up tourism professions, despite the health crisis.

Unsurprisingly, the tourism, events and culture sectors have been among the most affected by the Covid-19 crisis. As the health crisis has evolved, the Brussels hospitality companies have certainly demonstrated many adaptive capacities.