Hotels and holiday parks report 72% drop in guests in Q2, Amsterdam hardest hit

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Hotels, holiday parks and campsites in the Netherlands reported a 72% drop in the number of guests in the second quarter of this year, as the coronavirus crisis put paid to holiday plans.

The figures, from national statistics agency CBS, cover every location offering at least five rooms to tourists, so do not include private holiday rentals.

The drop was biggest in Amsterdam and the capital’s hotels were hit by a 92% decline in the number of guests. In Friesland, however, the reduction was just 53%, as locals opted to holiday at home.

The CBS says that bungalow parks and campsites will benefit from domestic tourism in the third quarter, but that city centre hotels, which rely on foreign tourists, will continue to struggle.

And Roberto Payer, manager of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Amsterdam, told broadcaster RTLZ he estimates some 10,000 hotel sector jobs will go in the Dutch capital because of the crisis.

Meanwhile, the Dutch capital is on the verge of a campaign to actively discourage tourism because of a surge in coronavirus cases, the Volkskrant said on Tuesday.

There was confusion last week about whether tourists would be urged to stay away, but the paper says the regional safety board is now set to decide on new measures to urge day trippers and backpackers not to visit.

Most of the tourists who have returned to the capital are young, budget tourists after drugs and a good time, and who ignore social distancing rules, the paper said.

Mayor Femke Halsema has already urged people to avoid the city at the weekend, and to keep out of busy areas. And this weekend, street wardens issued 148 fines and hundreds of warnings to people who were not wearing face masks in the red light district.

Some 20 million tourists visited Amsterdam last year and tourism is responsible for some 70,000 jobs.

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