Foreign tourism in Netherlands rises 11 percent; €13 billion spent

Tourists in Amsterdam (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Steven Lek)Tourists in Amsterdam (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Steven Lek)

The number of foreign tourists who visited the Netherlands last year increased by 11 percent to a total of 17.6 million people, according to figures from NBTC Holland Marketing. Together they spent 12.9 billion euros in the Netherlands, AD reports.

Most foreign visitors came from Germany last year. Over 5 million Germans visited the Netherlands. Belgium came in second place with over 2.2 million visitors, and the United Kingdom with just under 2.2 million. The number of visitors from Russia increased the most with 33 percent to around 175 thousand. 

On average, visitors coming from outside Europe spent the most money in the Netherlands. Americans spent 1.7 billion euros in our country last year, an increase of 23 percent compared to the year before. According to NBTC, this can partly be attributed to the strengthening U.S. economy and the relatively cheaper euro. 

NBTC expects the increasing tourists trend to continue this year. Around 18.5 million international tourists are expected to visit the Netherlands this year.

"If we don't do anything now, future guests will visit the same places at the same time. We therefore need to work even more firmly on, among other things, investing in accessibility, new and varied experiences and suitable accommodations and facilities", NBTC managing director Jos Vranken said, according to the newspaper.