A record 12.7 million foreign tourists came to the Netherlands in 2012

The large number of special events in the Dutch calendar last year helped boost tourist numbers 4% to a record 12.7 million, the national tourist board said on Monday.

Foreign tourists spent 31.6 million nights in hotels and guest houses, a 7% rise on 2012, the NBTC said.

The major events included the reopening of the Rijksmuseum after a 10-year renovation and celebrations to mark 400 years of Amsterdam’s canals.


The number of Russian rose by 20% to almost 200,000 and there were 225,000 visitors from China, an 18% rise. 

Most tourists came from Germany – 3.5 million and an increase of 8% on 2012. However, there were fewer tourists from the US and Spain, where the economic crisis has been particularly acute.

The NBTC said it expects a 2% rise this year, with more tourists in particular from Brazil, Russia, India and China.

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