The number of foreign tourists visiting the Netherlands is set to plunge by 71% this year compared with 2019, according to new figures from the Dutch tourism and convention board NBTC.
The NBTC expects some six million foreign visitors to spend time in the Netherlands this year – a third of the forecast total of nearly 22 milllion.
The agency had forecast record visitor numbers, boosted by the Formula 1 race in Zandvoort, the Eurovision Song Festival and the European football championships, all of which were cancelled because of coronavirus.
NBTC director Jos Vranken says this year’s figures are comparable to the 1990s. ‘Almost the entire sector is in a deep dip and it will be 2024 before we can speak of a recovery,’ Vranken said.
‘Lockdowns, travel restrictions and sentiment have led us to sharply revise the forecast,’ he said.
Fewer Dutch tourists also had a holiday in their home country, with overnight stays by locals down by one third.