Last week more than 50 UK tour operators visited Ypres and the surrounding area.
In readiness for the Centerary next year, the Flemish government has invested millions of euros in the tourism sector of this region.
The forum offered operators the chance to see a number of the hotels, museums and attractions that have been renovated and updated in the approach to the Centenary of World War I.
The operators were able to view the updated In Flanders Fields Museum, (opened in Summer 2012) and the trip also provided an opportunity for the group to experience the Last Post ceremony, which takes place every evening in Ypres by the Menin Gate.
Excursions included Poperinge’s Talbot House and the newly opened Lijssenthoeck military cemetery visitor centre. Some operators also visited Tyne Cot cemetery and the Memorial Museum Passendaele 1917, which is due to open its new wing in July 2013.
An alternative tour offered a trip to Diksmuide’s Yser Tower (site of a new Museum which will open next year) and the Vladslo German cemetery. The group were also treated to a sample of the local beer at the historic St Bernadus Brewery, in nearby Watou.
The Centenary is expected to attract approximately two million visitors to Flanders Fields and across the region and UK operators are getting ready to cater for this extra demand.