Dutch ‘staycationers’ ensured a record autumn season for the tourism sector as coronavirus restrictions limited their travel options.
Campsites and bungalow parks were the main beneficiaries as visitors booked 74,000 more nights than last year, when the previous record was set. By contrast, hotels, which are more dependent on foreign visitors, saw bookings fall sharply, according to the statistics agency CBS.
The relaxation of lockdown rules during the summer holiday helped the industry recover from the low point in April, when bookings were down by 93% on the previous year. Groningen and Gelderland, two provinces mainly popular with domestic visitors, saw their bookings up by 33.5% and 21% respectively, while Noord-Holland, which is heavily dependent on Amsterdam’s international pull, recorded a drop of 34.1%.
Bookings in the capital were down by 61.4% while Haarlemmermeer, the municipality which is home to Schiphol airport, experienced a drop of 60.4%.
Campsites had 14.2% fewer foreign visitors than in 2019, but were amply compensated by a 40.2% surge in Dutch tourists, while the numbers on holiday parks almost exactly balanced out: 28.6% fewer visitors from abroad versus 29.7% more Dutch guests.
Hotels received a small boost of 12.6% in domestic bookings, but that was not enough to compensate for a 54.7% drop in the number of foreign tourists. Group accommodation facilities were hardest hit, losing 60.4% of foreign and 34.2% of domestic bookings.