Travel and tourism industry in the Netherlands - Statistics and Facts

The tourism sector is becoming increasingly important to the Dutch economy. The Dutch government aims to boost the number of foreign visitors to the Netherlands. In general, the travel and tourism sector consists mainly of three major components: domestic, inbound and outbound tourism.

In recent years inbound tourism numbers have grown consistently. This is confirmed by the number of tourists traveling to the Netherlands between 2010 and 2016, categorized by accommodation type booked. Hotel accommodation showed the highest growth rate. If in 2010 the number of inbound tourists staying in hotels amounted to approximately 8.7 million, in 2016 it rose to roughly 12.4 million. When looking at the total number of inbound tourists, it increased from approximately 15.8 million in 2016 to 16.3 million in 2017. Furthermore, forecasts predict that the number of inbound tourists will amount to roughly 16.7 million in 2018, indicating a trend of continuous growth in visits from abroad.

The same pattern of growth can be detected in the number of outbound holidays from the Netherlands. While in 2006 the number of holidays spent abroad amounted to roughly 16.8 million, in 2016 the figure increased by roughly one million. France, with roughly 1.6 million long-haul summer holidays, has been the most popular country for outbound summer holidays taken by Dutch tourists in 2016, whereas Germany and Spain received roughly 1.3 and 1.2 million Dutch tourists respectively.

Looking at domestic holidays, more fluctuation in the number of vacation trips was evident than with in- and outbound destinations. However, this development does not reflect on domestic tourism expenditure in the Netherlands. Between 2010 and 2016, the domestic holiday market saw an increase in expenditure of approximately 240 million euros. When categorizing expenditure by accommodation, most of the domestic holiday spending covered bungalow vacations with roughly one billion euros in 2016.

Besides the positive effect of the tourism industry on the Dutch economy, travel agencies operating in the Netherlands profit from it as well. In 2018, D-reizen saw their store volume amount to 226, whereas VakantieXperts and TUI had 206 and 135 stores respectively. As can be read, both inbound as well as outbound saw an increase in the amount of tourists. For 2018 it has been forecasted that, during the summer period, 4.1 and 4.5 million inbound and domestic tourists. This is six percent more than in the previous year, resulting in a positive forecast for the tourism industry in the Netherlands.

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