Monday 23 May 2022

Coronavirus outbreak will hurt Chinese tourism, Rotterdam port

Chinese tourists in Volendam. Photo:

The outbreak of coronavirus is leading to a sharp downturn in Chinese tourists to the Netherlands, according to Dutch tourist board NBTC.

The organisation said earlier it expected 300,000 Chinese tourists to visit the Netherlands this year, down from 380,000 in 2019. But the impact of coronavirus, which has led to a suspension of most direct flights to China, will further depress the figures, the NBTC told broadcaster NOS on Friday.

Most foreign tourists in the Netherlands come from Belgium, Britain and Germany, and Chinese tourists account for just 2% of overnight stays.

Nevertheless, places which are popular with Chinese visitors, such as the Noord-Holland village of Giethoorn and the Zaanse Schans windmill park, are noticing the difference, officials said earlier this week.

The impact of coronavirus is also affecting Rotterdam port, one of the biggest ports in the world.

The number of freighters leaving China for Europe has gone down some 20% over the past few weeks, the port authority said. This could lead to a two million tonne reduction in throughput, a sector which normally deals with some 13 million tonnes of freight a month.

According to the Financieele Dagblad, shipping firms and storage operators are already feeling the impact and several firms have applied to lay off workers under the government’s emergency scheme.

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