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