The Netherlands is increasingly popular with foreign tourists: 12.4 million of them visited in the first eight months of the year, an increase of more than 13% over the year-earlier period, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.
In particular, the number of Asian tourists jumped 25% to 900,000, the CBS said.
The tourism sector is growing faster than the Dutch economy itself and last year, it provided jobs for more than 540,000 people, the CBS said.
The 5.5% rise in tourists in the Netherlands last year also outstripped the EU average rise of 4.6%. The increase in people visiting Dutch towns and cities was largely to tourists from the neighbouring countries of Germany, Britain and Belgium.
More than 75% of all foreign tourists visiting the Netherlands in 2016 were European.
Internationally, tourism has increased by an average 4.8% a year since the 2008 global economic crisis, according to a joint report published by the World Tourism Organisation and the CBS.
2016 was the seventh consecutive year in which global tourism figures showed an increase. The number of foreign tourists worldwide increased by 3.9% to more than 2.1 billion in 2016, with Asia and Oceania benefiting the most with 8% more foreign tourists.
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