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Tulips, windmills and cheese still dominate tourists' view of Holland

Tuesday 05 February 2013

one pink tulip in a sea of hyacynths.png

People who come to the Netherlands on holiday are most likely to associate the country with tulips, windmills and cheese, according to a survey of over 11,000 holidaymakers for the Dutch tourist board.

The most positive aspect of the Netherlands named by tourists is Amsterdam, which was highlighted by 51%. Cycling (41%) and the landscape (32%) came second and third.

On the downside, drugs were regarded as a negative attraction by 55%, followed by prostitution (39%) and the language (32%).


The survey was conducted in the 13 countries which are home to the majority of tourists. Of those, nearly all said the price quality ratio offered by the hospitality industry was the least positive aspect of their stay.

Some 67% of those interviewed said they regarded the Dutch as tolerant, 64% said they were open and 63% said they were friendly.

Despite the mainly positive image of the Netherlands, the country is less popular as a holiday destination than it was a year ago. 'The competition is great and growing,' said the tourist board's marketing director Conrad van Tiggelen. 

In particular, the tourist board and hospitality industry body Horeca Nederland plan to make efforts to improve the country's culinary image, he said.

German, British and Belgian nationals dominated the record 11.7 million foreign tourists who visited the Netherlands last year

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

They forgot to mention soft drugs and prostitution/red light district.

By tulipgirl | 5 February 2013 7:28 PM

@tulipgirl, especially for you I copy-pasted the third paragraph of the article:
"On the downside, drugs were regarded as a negative attraction by 55%, followed by prostitution (39%) and the language (32%)."

By pepe | 6 February 2013 10:31 AM

"The most positive aspect of the Netherlands named by tourists is Amsterdam"

That says a lot about the level of the people interviewed.
The Netherlands is much better outside Amsterdam, but we all know what tourists come here for. The only windmill they see is the brewery in Amsterdam.

By joanna | 6 February 2013 11:39 AM

They should REALLY better the service in this country if they want tourists to come back. The famous Dutch attitude of 'i'll ignore you for a bit and then we'll see if I take your order' , doesnt quite work with foreign nationals.

By Lia | 6 February 2013 11:58 AM

Wasn't it for drugs and prostitution?

By ilpeppo | 6 February 2013 12:00 PM

As a person who works with toursits in Amsterdam daily, the biggest complaints I hear are the fact the lodging is not cheap, espeically compared to quaility recieved. And of course the food is OVERPRICED every where. It may be one thing if the food was half way decent but 12eur for mashed potatoes and a saugage? (stampot) that's too much. Work on higher quality food/price ratio, cheaper housing and public transport and more people will flock to this city, because frankly it's great!

By Kendar_of_the_north | 6 February 2013 12:01 PM

You forgot Clogs

By Terence Hale | 6 February 2013 12:15 PM

Sorry I just do not believe theses stats.

By Jason | 6 February 2013 1:21 PM

@Kendar_of_the_north, stamppot? What restaurants serve stamppot? Most places serve foreign food (for a reason of course). And lots of restaurants get excellent reviews from international visitors:

By pepe | 6 February 2013 5:23 PM

thats not true. it's hypocrisy. everybody know that holland is the land of freedom to smoke for god sake. stop manipulating people's mind and accept it.

By jim | 6 February 2013 7:38 PM

@pepe: You have probably seen the stapmpot shops pop up lately! They do look kinda like ice-cream shops though. And you can gauge the difference in quality, by comparing the number of great reviews on tripadvisor for Amsterdam with those for Athens, Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid.

By Neo | 6 February 2013 7:57 PM

Of all the places I went in Holland, I liked Maastricht, and Limburg in general, the most. The landscape is gorgeous (by Dutch standards), there are less people, and thus (I believe) they are friendlier. If you haven't been to Maastricht yet, I HIGHLY recommend it. You won't be disappointed, especially if you like history :)

By Stupid | 6 February 2013 10:20 PM

Why would language be a negative factor? Dutch people speak English amazingly well!! Especially compared to the rest of Europe. The price of food (in cafes and restaurants), accommodation and public transport is high though.

By Mandy | 7 February 2013 9:43 AM

Did you count them, Neo?
Actually most tourists who visit Amsterdam love the city. The biggest complainers are people who live in the Netherlands (Dutch and non-Dutch). But this survey was done among tourists, not among people who live in Amsterdam.

By pepe | 7 February 2013 9:46 AM

@jim, tell that to the millions of Germans who come for the sea and beaches. Maybe you can convince them that they should come for the pot instead.

By pepe | 7 February 2013 9:51 AM

The service is dreadful in native run restaurants. In expat run restaurants, its good. The food can be good or bad on both.

By Expatio | 7 February 2013 12:52 PM

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