Domestic tourism in large Dutch cities up 54 percent since 2012

Bikes pared on an Amsterdam bridge
Bikes pared on an Amsterdam bridge. (Photo: olgacov/DepositPhotos)

Domestic tourism in the large Dutch cities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht increased by 54 percent since 2012. This seems to show that Dutch are not very sensitive to the consequences of mass tourism and therefore avoiding the large cities, ABN Amro's economic office reported on Tuesday, reports.

Foreign tourists, on the other hand, are increasingly looking to visit areas outside the Randstad. ABN Amro expects that the number of foreign tourists visiting the region will increase 6 percent this year. The region can respond to this, according to the researchers. "Local festivals, museums and amusement parks can benefit, for example by stimulating an 'overflow' of tourism from the busier areas", they said. 

The travel behavior of millennials, people born between 1980 and 2000, will also help the region, the economists expect. This generation looks for authentic experiences, and therefore wants to see how locals live instead of just visiting tourist attractions. "For the regions, millennials are therefore an important target group to which they can direct their promotional campaigns", the ABN Amro economists said.

ABN Amro describes the situation in the region as "under-tourism", as opposed to "over-tourism" in the big cities. Within the EU, the Netherlands is almost at the bottom of the list when it comes to tourism income from these areas. Only Lithuania and Poland do worse.

The bank expects that total tourism in the Netherlands will increase by 3 percent in 2019, mainly due to the inflow of foreign tourists. But the growth will slow down somewhat in the coming years, because the economic growth in tourists' home countries is leveling off.