Spain and UK most popular destinations for travellers from the Netherlands

Spain and UK most popular destinations for travellers from the Netherlands

Recent figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) show that the travel and tourism industry experienced a significant comeback in 2022, with Spain and the UK remaining the top two destinations for travellers from the Netherlands.

61,3 million air passengers to and from Dutch airports

Last year, a total of 61,3 million people travelled to and from the five airports in the Netherlands - over double the number recorded in 2021. This isn’t particularly surprising, as 2022 saw the abolishment of various national and international travel restrictions that were put in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

There were 463.000 commercial flights to and from the five national airports - an increase of 53 percent compared to 2021 but a decrease of 18 percent compared to 2019. With a total of 44.900 incoming and outgoing flights and 6,4 million travellers, August was the busiest month for Dutch airports. This was reflected in the chaotic scenes and long queues seen at the two most popular airports, Schiphol and Eindhoven. 

While these figures mark a significant increase compared to 2021, the overall number of incoming and outgoing passengers in 2022 is still 15 percent lower than in 2019.

Three-quarters of flights last year were within Europe

Europe remains the most popular destination for travellers from the Netherlands, with more than 74 percent of the total number of flyers travelling to or from countries in Europe. The most popular trip in 2022 was between the Netherlands and El Prat Airport in Barcelona:

  1. El Prat Airport, Barcelona (1,5 million passengers)
  2. London Heathrow (1,1 million) 
  3. Malaga Airport (1,1 million)
  4. Lisbon Portela Airport (1,1 million)
  5. Dublin Airport (1,1 million) 
  6. Madrid-Barajas Airport (1 million)
  7. Copenhagen Airport (1 million)
  8. Fiumicino Airport, Rome (1 million) 
  9. Alicante-Elche Airport (0,9 million)
  10. Paris Charles de Gaulle (0,9 million)

Overall, the most popular destinations were Spain (8,4 million people) and - in spite of Brexit and tougher entry rules - the UK (6,7 million), together making up 24,7 percent of the total number of air passengers. Outside of Europe, the most popular destination remains the US.

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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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