Fewer tourists head for the Netherlands, down 73% on pre-Covid 2019

Tourists in the village on Winsum last summer. Photo: DutchNews.nl
Tourists in the village on Winsum in 2020. Photo: DutchNews.nl

The Dutch tourism and convention board NBTC is expecting 5.4 million foreign visitors will come to the Netherlands last year, which would be down just over a quarter on the 2020 figure.

‘The forecasts sketch a more dramatic picture than we had earlier this year,’ NBTC director Jos Vranken said. ‘This is because of the continuing restrictions on travel and the coronavirus measures which have been in place for almost the whole year.’

‘This means tourism and business related visits are back at the level they were at in the early 1990s,’ he said.

In 2019, the last pre-coronavirus year, over 20 million tourists came to the Netherlands.

The NBTC does not expect international travel to be fully recovered before 2024. ‘Holiday travel is getting back up to steam but we expect intercontinental and business travel – meetings and conferences in particular – to resume more slowly.’ Vranken said.

While people who live in the Netherlands are now more likely to holiday at home, this does not make up for the lack of foreign tourists and loss of income, the NBTC said.

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