Tourism and coronavirus: 15 million fewer tourists in the Netherlands

Tourism and coronavirus: 15 million fewer tourists in the Netherlands

Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus pandemic has had considerable repercussions for the Dutch tourism industry. 2020 saw only seven million tourists visit the country - significantly less than the 21 million that was expected.

Tourism during the coronavirus crisis

According to figures released by the Netherlands Bureau for Tourism & Conventions (NBTC), the Netherlands can expect over 70 percent fewer international visitors this year than in 2019. Fewer than seven million tourists are expected for the whole of 2020, but at the start of the NBTC predicted the country would receive almost 22 million, which would have been a new record. 

The predictions for 2020 were so high due to a number of major events that were set to take place this year, including the revival of the Formula 1 race in Zandvoort, the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, and the European Football Championship. However, the outbreak of the coronavirus at the start of the year meant all these events had to be cancelled. 

The future of tourism in the Netherlands

According to Jos Vranken, director of the NBTC, the tourism figures for this year are comparable to figures from the 1980s.

The figures for the rest of 2020 don’t look promising, showing that people in both the Netherlands and Belgium have fewer holiday plans, and so tourism is unlikely to pick up again. Looking ahead to 2021, many have also said they are planning fewer holidays next year. 

Vranken says he predicts it will take a number of years for the Dutch tourism industry to recover, saying he expects it will only improve in 2024.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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