'Ugly' Tourism in Belgium

An entrepreneur in a declining industrial city takes visitors on an 'Urban Safari.'

Charleroi, a city of 200,000 with an unemployment rate of over 25%, typically doesn't get many tourists, writes Frances Robinson, but native son Nicolas Buissart hopes to change that with his unconventional tours of former industrial sites. Stops include abandoned metro stations, a converted river barge, and former steel works.

While Buissart describes ticket sales as "robust," city officials have yet to embrace the concept, writes Robinson:

"City authorities haven't taken kindly to the tour. They say the city has turned a corner.

"'The cultural life of Charleroi is very rich,' insists [Antoine Tanzilli, the councilor responsible for promoting tourism at City Hall.] "Although it's not a tourist town in the conventional sense, we get visitors due to the airport, and there are some architectural jewels.'

"New transport and business projects, he reckons, will reinvigorate the city center."

Full Story: Tour Embraces a Town's Ugly Truth: It's a Dump

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 7 different cities.
$22.00