Bruges cuts lo­cals a dis­count on their chips

The Guardian Weekly - - Diversions - Daniel Bof­fey

Bruges’ me­dieval splen­dour, en­chant­ing canals and cob­bled streets make it a firm favourite for tourists. But vis­i­tors may wish to avoid one of the de­lights of the Flem­ish city – its pricey chips, or

fri­eten, as they say in that part of Bel­gium. Some of the city’s chipsellers have been charg­ing tourists an ex­tra 10% on the price of­fered to lo­cals, push­ing up the usual price to more than €7 ($8) a serv­ing.

Gau­thier Ge­vaert, of the Brugsch Fri­ethuys chip shop, told the De Stan­daard news­pa­per that it was more a dis­count for lo­cals rather than a tourist tax. Bel­gians con­sume on av­er­age 75kg of fried pota­toes per per­son each year.

“Ten per­cent dis­count in Bruges, yes, that is ex­plic­itly on the re­ceipt,” he said. “Why do we do that? For the reg­u­lars. We do not only aim at the mass tourism, but also build­ing a re­la­tion­ship with who­ever comes here of­ten.”

The mayor of Bruges, Re­naat Lan­duyt, agreed. “There are 6 mil­lion tourists here a year,” he said. “That makes Bruges an ex­pen­sive city. These small ges­tures are nice.”

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