Hoteliers in Ypres are sounding the alarm: “We need the British!”

“We have a historic bond with the British Commonwealth, and it’s an incredibly painful bond,” Loagey continued. “It’s more than just a job for us. It’s an emotional and human story. Many of the British volunteers who have been coming in 30 years ago don’t get to us now. And that detracts from the capacity of these people, who usually don’t like the ones who are younger. They don’t know if they will make it. There, so it gets very emotional. The longer it goes, the worse it gets. There are even some volunteers in the UK who have been hospitalized with mental issues, because they are not here anymore.”

British-Australian Sharon Evans and her husband Philip Oytenhof run Quasimodo Tours in Bruges. They organize day trips for English speaking tourists in the area. “More than 75 percent of our customers are British,” says Evans, “but they’re not there now.” “We would like the restrictions to be lifted. The vaccinated Britons are as safe as you and me,” Jottenhoff added. Also participating in the protest was Pauline Fanovershield of the Pax Hotel in Dixmaud. “Time is running out. Winter is just around the corner and we want to have a perspective as soon as possible: are they coming or not?”

Tour operators in the region hope to get an answer to this question as soon as possible.

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Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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