Growing tourism in the Netherlands, growing importance to the Dutch economy

Growing tourism in the Netherlands, growing importance to the Dutch economy

75,7 billion euros was spent on tourism in 2016, research from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reveals. This is more than 27 percent higher than in 2010 and four percent higher than last year.

Tourism becoming more important for the Dutch economy

In the last few years, tourism has been growing at a faster rate than the economy. As such, its economic value has also risen, 3,9 percent in 2016 compared to only 3 percent in 2010. The added value of 17,3 billion in 2010 has increased by more than 30 percent and now totals 24,8 billion euros.

Increase in tourism sector jobs

The tourism sector comprises hotels, restaurants and cafés, aviation, travel agencies and mediators, art and culture, the retail industry, taxis and public transportation.

2016 saw an increase in employment for every category. The largest increase was in the hotels, restaurants and cafés category, which grew by four percent. The number of people working in the tourism sector in general rose by 2 percent to give a total of 542.000.

Another 13.000 jobs were also added to the tourism industry, totalling 641.000 and showing an increase of 2,1 percent. The number of jobs in the Dutch economy however, only rose by one percent. The tourism sector accounted for 6,4 percent of all jobs in the Netherlands in 2016.

Foreign tourists driving growth

The growth in the tourism industry is being driven by tourists from abroad. In 2016 foreign tourists spent 21 billion euros in the Netherlands, and the number of nights they stayed increased by more than six percent compared to 2015. Dutch nationals also made the most of the attractions and sightseeing in the Netherlands, as they spent 45 billion euros on tourism, 1,5 billion more than in 2015.

In addition to tourism expenditure in the Netherlands, a great deal of tourists, not travelling necessarily to the Netherlands, booked their tickets or accommodation through a Dutch business. This also generated revenue for the Dutch tourism industry.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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