Coach tour misses Christmas market and visits car boot sale instead!

It has emerged that a coach full of British tourists expecting to see one of Europe’s busiest Christmas markets ended up in a closed car boot sale after the driver mistakenly took them to the wrong destination.

It was only on their return to Hull, East Yorkshire, that the group realised the market they were heading for – Belgium’s Winter Wonders festival in the centre of Brussels – had been less than three miles up the road!

They had taken the trip hoping to see an illuminated big wheel, as well as enjoying laser shows, street theatre and the delights of 240 shopping chalets. Instead, they were met with a ‘Closed’ sign and rows of empty stalls. Only one stall was open and that was selling fruit and vegetables.

One of the unfortunate tourists, said: “The coach driver announced we had arrived and we all got off. We couldn’t believe it. It was like going to a car boot sale which, to make matters worse, was shut. We just wandered around in disbelief.”

Isa Maurer, of Brussels International Tourism and Congress, suspects the coach party was taken to a market at Queen Astrid Square in Jette, rather than the Winter Wonders Festival which attracts 2.5 million visitors a year. “They were definitely not taken to the Winter Wonders event,” she said. “It’s a shame they did not make it as it is one of the most beautiful Christmas events in Europe.”

National Holidays, which organised the trip, is now seeking an urgent explanation from the coach driver. The company’s managing director, Graham Rogers, said: “We are as flabbergasted as our customers are,” he said. “We have been speaking to them on an individual basis and we will be offering them a gesture by way of compensation.”

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