Big boost in tourism to Netherlands

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The Netherlands has attracted a record number of tourists this year. According to figures from marketing company NBTC Holland Marketing, responsible for promoting The Netherlands abroad, expects that this year, 12.8 million foreigners will have come to the country for business or pleasure, the NOS reports. 

Last year, 12.7 million tourists came to The Netherlands. This year, NBTC expects a growth of 2 percent.

According to the Marketing company, the big stimulants for the foreign visitors were the Nuclear Security Summit, Queen Beatrix's abdication of the throne, and the opening of the Rijksmuseum. US President Obama's visit to the museum went around the world.

"Those images go the world round", says Thérèse Ariaans of the NBTC. "Because of that, The Netherlands is in people's interest in a positive manner, and we notice that."

According to NBTC figures, around 80 percent of tourism comes from Europe. Germans take the lead with 3.8 million visitors, and Belgium with 1.8 million. Asians and North-Americans were also streaming in more than in the past.

Due to tensions with Russia within the EU, Russians are less visible in tourist statistics to The Netherlands. The numbers have dropped around 7 percent. Last year, there were 20 percent more Russians in The Netherlands than the previous year.