Dutch tourism sector grows thanks to foreign visitors

Dutch tourism sector grows thanks to foreign visitors

An increase in international visitors is to thank for recent growth in the Dutch tourism industry, according to CBS.

Higher numbers of foreign tourists, and the consequent increase in spending, has pushed the tourism sector’s contribution to the Dutch GDP from 3,2 per cent in 2010, to 3,6 per cent in 2013.

The industry is also witnessing more foreign bookings made with Dutch companies, such as online reservations for flights and hotels.

More foreign tourists, increased spending

In 2013, 12,8 million international tourists visited the Netherlands, compared to 11,7 million visitors in 2012.

The amount spent by international visitors increased by more than 15 per cent between 2010 and 2013. This is in contrast with the reluctant spending habits of domestic tourists, which stagnated over the last three years, directly correlating with decreased levels of household consumption.

Overall, tourists spent a total of 65 billion euros in the Netherlands in 2013, an increase of more than nine per cent over the last three years. This is mainly due to the fact that prices increased by six per cent over the same period.

Hotels and restaurants are biggest employers

The tourism industry accounts for around five per cent of employment within the Netherlands, with many employees working on a part-time basis.

When converted from part-time to full-time employment, the travel industry provided 357.000 full-time jobs in 2013.

Hotels and restaurants account for almost half of all employment within the Dutch tourism sector, whereas a quarter of the industry’s jobs are in goods and services such as retail and land transport.

Art, cultural activities, sports, recreation and gambling contribute a further 22 per cent of tourism jobs and the final six per cent is made up of aviation and travel agencies.

Comparing travel agency models: online travel booking agencies continue to do well, whereas traditional travel agencies are underperforming economically.

Beatrice Clarke


Beatrice Clarke

Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independent publishing and fashion, Beatrice honed her understanding of Dutch language and culture working...

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