Tourists' top reasons for visiting Amsterdam

17 July 2012, by

Tourists increasingly cite the range of cultural activities on offer in the region as their top reason to visit Amsterdam, according to the Amsterdam Visitors Survey 2012 conducted by the Amsterdam Tourism & Convention Board (ATCB).

Though they spanned all ages, the largest group of visitors fell in the 21-30 age bracket. Visitors more often came to Amsterdam for pleasure than business. About half of visitors were here for the first time and half had been to Amsterdam in the past.

Main reasons for visiting Amsterdam
Amsterdam's cultural history (66,1%)
Museums (50,1%)
Reputation (33,2%)
Atmosphere (32,7%)
Coffeeshops & soft drugs (16,5%)

Most popular activities
Wandering the city (95%)
Visiting a museum (85%)
Eating out (70%)
Drinking at a cafe or pub (65%)
Viewing traditional 17th and 18th century architecture (64%)
Visitors undertook an average of 10 activities during their stay.

Less generic / more "quintessentially Amsterdam" responses included:
Exploring the Red Light District (46%)
Canal cruises (42%)
Visiting a coffeeshop (35%)
Cycling (22%)
Design-related activities (10%)

Amsterdam's most positive aspects
Architecture (66%)
Relaxed atmosphere (48%)
People (35%)
The city's culture (32%)

Top complaints
Expensive (approximately 25%)
Street litter (13%)
Climate (12%)
Congestion (10%)
High volume of bicyclists (10%)

amsterdam history museum
Photo by Flickr user Sebastiaan ter Burg 

Note that:
over one-third of respondents were unable to name a negative aspect about the city
the overall visitor satisfaction rating was 8,1 out of 10

Spending by visitors to the city has never been higher, and Amsterdam's tourism industry now generates 5,7 billion euros a year and over 50.400 full time jobs.

About the survey
The Amsterdam Visitors Survey took place between January and December 2011. A total of 10.199 respondents above the age of 15 were interviewed at 40 different locations around the city, usually close to tourism-related spots (e.g. accommodation, attractions, museums, train stations, and convention / trade show facilities).

Among the survey's respondents:
20% Dutch
- 3% staying overnight
- 17% day trippers
80% foreign
- 74% staying overnight
- 6% day trippers

Most respondents came from the greater metropolitan areas of Europe's big cities, such as London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Lyon, and Milan.

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