The number of international tourists visiting the Netherlands will top 20 million this year, a rise of 30% on 2022 when coronavirus travel restrictions were still partly in force, the national tourist and convention board NBTC said on Monday.
The new estimate is an upward revision of earlier forecasts, the NBTC said.The biggest increase is in the number of German tourists staying in Dutch hotels and campsites – up 13% on pre-pandemic 2019 levels at seven million.
Tourism from Britain is still down. This is due to the knock-on effect of coronavirus restrictions, the NBTC said, adding that “train and air links are essential to an island”. Visitor numbers from China are also lagging for similar reasons.
“The continued growth in foreign and domestic tourist numbers shows that we need to create more space for recreation and tourism,” said NBTC chief Jos Vranken. “Doing nothing is no longer an option.
“We need physical space to allow visitors to enjoy our country but we also need mental space to make sure that some areas remain pleasant places to live and residents don’t experience problems.”
Some parts of the Netherlands, such as Amsterdam and popular villages like Giethoorn, have been struggling to deal with the number of visitors – both domestic and foreign – and Amsterdam is taking active steps to discourage mass tourism.
The city council also recently voted in favour of closing the city’s cruise ship terminal, saying that polluting ocean-going ships are not compatible with the city’s green plans or efforts to cut back on visitor numberes.
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