Pandemic wipes out a decade of growth in tourism industry

The massive drop in international and national tourism in the Netherlands during the coronavirus pandemic has wiped out a decade’s worth of growth in the sector, statistics agency CBS has calculated.

Revenue in 2020 was down 43% compared to the year before, taking the total to €52bn.

The absence of foreign tourists was responsible for the steepest decline, CBS said. Spending by visitors from abroad fell by 58% to €14.4bn, while domestic tourism spending dropped 35% bringing in €34.5bn.

The overal share of tourism in the Dutch economy almost halved, from 4.4% to 2.4% of GDP. Compared to the drop in growth of the economy in general, put at 3.8%, tourism fared much more badly with 48%.

Covid travel restrictions and fear of contagion were the main causes of the decline, the CBS said.

The total worth of the sector dropped to €170bn in 2020, almost half of what it was the year before. Airlines and travel agents were worst hit by the crisis.

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