Tourist numbers will slump this year, as coronavirus fears keep holidaymakers away

Photo: Odi Busman
Photo: Odi Busman

The Dutch tourism board expects the number of foreign tourists visiting the Netherlands this year to slump from the forecast 21 million to around six million because of the impact of coronavirus.

In addition, the number of Dutch people holidaying at home will go down by 50%, the NBTC has told the Telegraaf. The organisation’s latest survey shows that two in five Dutch people planning a holiday this year will stay in the Netherlands, but most are keen to avoid busy destinations – and other tourists.

‘People are still hedging their bets, even though summer bookings are now picking up,’ said Geert Dijks director of recreation company association Hiswa-Recron. ‘But the Netherlands will be far from full this summer.’

The NBTC says German and Belgian tourists are continuing to visit, although their numbers are down by 40% to 50%. There will be 60% fewer tourists from other European countries while visitor numbers from America and China will plunge 80%, the organisation told the paper.

The NBTC has started a campaign called ‘you need to be here’ (hier moet je zijn) to encourage people to visit less-frequented beauty spots, from Alkmaar’s cheese market to the historic centre of Zwolle.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation