A huge number of tourists visited the Netherlands last year!

A huge number of tourists visited the Netherlands last year!

Over 20 million foreign tourists stayed overnight in the Netherlands last year. Experts express the need for dealing with the negative impacts of tourism.

Tourist hotspot

20,1 million tourists from foreign countries spent at least one night in the Netherlands last year, reports the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC) based on figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS). This is an increase of 7 percent on 2018, which is in line with NBTC forecasts.

The majority of tourists visiting the Netherlands, 80 percent of them, came from Europe. According to NBTC director Jos Vranken, a significant number of tourists come from the Netherlands' neighbouring countries, such as Germany (30 percent), Belgium (12 percent) and the UK (12 percent). Tourists from outside of Europe mainly came from the US (8 percent) and China (2 percent).

The number of overnight stays in the Netherlands also increased by 10 percent. “The Netherlands is popular for short breaks, but it is striking that more and more visitors are extending their stay,” said Vranken. This is why the number of visitors increased by a smaller percentage than the number of nights spent in overnight accommodation in the Netherlands.

The negative impacts of tourism

The Dutch government was advised by The Council for the Environment and Infrastructure to invest in upholding the standard of living in the Netherlands as tourism grows. Amsterdam, in particular, is struggling to deal with the number of tourists it attracts every day, although about half of the tourists in the city are day-trippers from elsewhere in the country.

Increased tourism is putting a strain on Amsterdam, as well as other Dutch cities. Therefore, the NBTC has been trying to encourage tourists to visit other parts of the country as well. The international rebranding of the Netherlands last year reflects these efforts.

The previous logo featured the word "Holland" and an orange tulip and was replaced by “NL Netherlands” with a stylised tulip. The Ministry of Foreign affairs said that with the new logo it wanted to promote the entire country. Regarding the old logo, a spokesperson for the ministry said, “it’s kind of crazy that you are promoting a small part of the Netherlands abroad, namely Holland.”

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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