Netherlands expects a 30 percent surge in foreign tourists this year

September 25, 2023  –AMSTERDAM – The Netherlands is likely to see a significant increase in foreign tourists this year compared to the previous one. Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) expects approximately 21 million international guests, marking an increase of 30 percent. 

The new forecasts released by the organization on Monday indicate that Germans, in particular, are visiting the country more frequently. This year, nearly 7 million German guests are expected to visit the Netherlands for vacation or business. This figure is higher than ever and represents a 13 percent increase from 2019, the last year before the pandemic. 

Earlier research by Dutch bank ABN AMRO also highlighted the rising number of German tourists in recent years. For example, according to the bank’s findings, the number of German tourists in the first five months of this year was more than double compared to the same period a decade ago. 

Driven by the influx of German tourists, NBTC expects the overall number of foreign visitors in the Netherlands to surpass pre-pandemic levels. However, visitor numbers from several other countries are lagging. For instance, recovery from the UK has been slower due to prolonged travel restrictions. Similarly, China, which only lifted travel constraints at the beginning of this year, has not rebounded as quickly. 

According to predictions, the number of Dutch nationals vacationing within the country will remain stable at around 29 million this year. This figure had already risen substantially in recent years. Combined with foreign visitors, nearly 50 million people will need accommodation in hotels, campsites, and other accommodations, NBTC warns. 

Tourists also use various other facilities, which carry broader societal implications according to the organization. “The sustained growth in both inbound and domestic visits shows that we’ll need to allocate more space for recreation and tourism. Doing nothing is no longer an option,” said NBTC director Jos Vranken. 

He also referred to the “mental space” to ensure that certain areas remain livable and residents do not experience inconvenience from visitors. According to him, it is crucial for the tourism sector to be involved in discussions concerning spatial challenges. 

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