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A record 11.7 million foreign tourists visited the Netherlands in 2012

Thursday 24 January 2013

German, British and Belgian nationals dominated the record 11.7 million foreign tourists who visited the Netherlands last year, according to new figures from the tourist and convention board NBTC.

The increase in tourist numbers was up 4% on 2011, the NBTC said.

In particular, the Netherlands is benefiting from strong economic growth in Asia, and the rise of a wealthy middle class. The  number of visitors from Japan and China soared by 23%, while there was a 16% rise in tourists from India.

'We are pleased with the growth although spending is under pressure,' general manager Jos Vranken is quoted as saying. Foreign tourists spent some €4.75bn on their trips to the Netherlands, about the same as in 2011.

The organisation forecasts further growth in tourist numbers of 3% this year, partly due to the wealth of special events in the capital - such as the reopening of the Rijksmuseum and celebrations to mark 400 years of the city's canals.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Ugh too many tourists! We need something to keep them away. Let's see..... thinking....thinking. Got it! Let's make a wietpas!


By RIck Kane | 24 January 2013 4:05 PM

i was reading a similar story about this, the problem is that the new tourists are back packers who dont spend money,they are all visiting on a shoe string budget.less tourists spending more money is whats needed, more is not allways best.

By iw | 24 January 2013 5:58 PM

I'd like to see these numbers spread out across the year. Was there a giant spike of tourists from Germany and Belgium in April, before the STUPID wiet pass was introduced??

By Stupid | 24 January 2013 9:02 PM

probably because it was supposed to be the last year tourists were allowed to buy weed

By dento | 24 January 2013 9:08 PM

Doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone that much of this might have been because a lot of people wanted to visit before coffee shops were off-limits?

By McD Dunderdale | 24 January 2013 9:58 PM

It may come as a surprise to some, but the biggest group of tourists in the Netherlands are Germans who come for the beaches and sea. Most of them stay in Zeeland.

By pepe | 24 January 2013 10:50 PM

Funny thing is I also count as a foreign tourist in Monnickendam just 13km from my home in Amsterdam just because I have a boat there and spend my weekends there. The harbor charges me tourist tax because I'm not from the Municipality Waterland. That's fine with me though...I enjoy my time there and love how much thought and money goes into water tourism in this country. Many of my fellow Germans travel each weekend 200-300km to their boats in NL too...it is a beautiful country and not just a place where you can buy weed.

By Chris L. | 25 January 2013 10:21 AM

"I'm not a tourist, I kind of exist here"

Surprising not to hear that ONE of the reasons for a lot of tourism stems from Schiphol ('Schiplul') Many passengers in transit take the opportunity to visit NL before their ongoing long-haul flight.

NBTC forgot to (deliberately) mention that many of these tourists stayed for approx. ONE night only, moaning to each other later on their ongoing flight of departure about the high costs.. the rest were too stoned to remember why they arrived at their destination & could not afford a cup of coffee on arrival. :P

Amsterdam is brilliant, Manila is fantastic, just subtract a zero for the prices, VAT 2012 was 12% :)

By The visitor | 25 January 2013 8:05 PM

This is a English language website and in those countries they think the Netherlands is about 2 things. Drugs and hookers.Turns out that no more then 100,000 tourists come to the Netherlands for the drugs they contribute about 200 million in extra tax revenue's.So it's all hugely overblown in the media.

By Roland | 27 January 2013 12:01 AM

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