Lokeren has opened a new Center for Water Tourism, adding a new tourist attraction to the city. The center is housed in the pavilion that was previously used as a

consultation center for Kind & Gezin for many years.

The city of Lokeren granted the pavilion to Bootverhuur Meersland and Kayak Company, owned by Harry Laheyne from Lokeren. "Together with the city, we have invested more than 200,000 euros to make the pavilion a cozy reception area. You can take a drink and a snack before going on the water, or you can enjoy the banks of the Durme," says Laheyne. In addition to a wide range of boats for 2 to 12 people, you can also rent kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards at the center to explore the Durme and the Moervaart.

"You can go from Lokeren to Mendonk, near the Gent-Terneuzen canal, for a day of water fun. But of course, shorter trips are also possible," adds Laheyne. The reception area has a shop for water sports equipment and local products. The center also has a sanitary area available with showers and toilets. Finally, you can also rent electric bikes or Vespas to explore the surrounding area on land.

The Center for Water Tourism is housed in a former Kind & Gezin consultation center, and the Durme becomes an even more important tourist attraction for the city with this new initiative. "We now have 80 meters of landing stages here, and we plan to invest even more around the Durme. You can sail your boat to the center of the city, which is quite unique," says Marina Van Hoorick (Open VLD), Alderman for Tourism. "Soon we will also begin building a walking promenade over the water of the Durme at the Grote Kaai. And we hope to create more opportunities for walking and cycling tourism along the banks of the Durme towards Daknam and Sinaai."

The water tourism center is open every day during the summer months from 9 am to 9 pm and from 10 am to 7 pm in the spring and autumn. Photo by Floris DC, Wikimedia commons.