Tickets for cinema, theatre and events lead exit from recession

Tickets for trips to the cinema, theatre and outdoor events have recovered strongly since the coronavirus pandemic ended, helping to lift the Netherlands out of recession at the end of last year.

Almost 32 million cinema tickets were sold in 2023, an increase of 27% on the previous year’s figure, according to the Dutch cinema association NVBF.

“People have found their way back to the cinema,” NVBF chairman Boris van der Ham said. The interest was boosted not just by the success of blockbusters such as Barbie and Oppenheimer, but also Dutch productions such as De Tatta’s.

Van der Ham, who also chairs the theatre producers’ association VVTP and the event organisers’ body VVEM, said visitor numbers appeared to be up in those sectors.

“Musicals and cabaret are doing very well, but lesser-known productions are finding it tougher,” he said.

The Museumvereniging said it expected the country’s museums to announce a record year when the figures for 2023 are compiled, based on the number of trips recorded through the Museumjaarkaart subscription.

Spending on culture, leisure and sport increased by 3% in the last quarter of 2023, the strongest growth of any sector, as GDP rose by 0.3% to end a nine-month recession.

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