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Bruges city will refuse opening new souvenir shops

Bruges’s city council is going to refuse giving licenses for opening more souvenir shops.

Bruges continues to pull in the most tourists in the country – some seven million a year and the quantity of souvenir shops continue to grow. But the problem is that many shops offer cheap products, often made in China.

There are also shops selling “Belgian chocolate” that isn’t really Belgian. “They’re selling T-shirts, beer and chocolate, but they’re ruining the market,” one chocolatier told VRT.

Mercedes Van Volcem, Bruges city councillor in charge of urban planning, said that existing shops need not worry, but that she wants to put the brakes on any new souvenir shops because they all sell the same thing. There needs to be “diversity in the shopping available”.


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