Tourists spent €87 billion euros in Netherlands last year

Tourists at a tulip field
Tourists at a tulip fieldPhoto: FamVeldman/DepositPhotos

Tourists spent a massive 87.5 billion euros in the Netherlands last year, Statistics Netherlands reported on Wednesday. The number of jobs in the tourism sector increased by 27 thousand to 791 thousand jobs. 

Compared to 2017, tourist spending increased by 6.4 percent last year in absolute numbers. Adjusted for price changes, the increase was 4.1 percent. 

Spending by domestic tourists was 2.7 billion euros higher than in 2017 and amounted to 51.9 billion euros last year. That means that Dutch spent 5.5 percent more on holidays in their own country. Statistics Netherlands attributes the increase largely to he fact that last year's summer was warmer and the warm weather lasted longer than in 2017. Dutch mainly spent more money on food and drinks, but also on fuel, sports and recreation. 

Domestic tourist spending also includes Dutch who went on holiday abroad, but spent money on accommodation and transportation at Dutch companies. At 6.6 billion euros last year, this tourist spending was 5.9 percent higher than in 2017.

Foreign tourists spent a total of 32.5 billion euros in the Netherlands last year, an increase of 2.5 billion euros and 8.2 percent compared to 2017. The increase was partly due to more overnight stays in Dutch accommodations. More foreign tourists also booked accommodation or transport with a Dutch company. A large proportion of these tourists did not actually travel to the Netherlands, but Dutch companies did make money from these bookings, according to the stats office. 

The number of jobs in the Dutch tourism sector increased by 3.6 percent to 791 thousand last year. That means that the tourism sector was responsible for 7.5 percent of jobs in the Netherlands. The sector has many part time jobs. Converted to full-time jobs, the tourism sector accounted fo 474 thousand jobs and 6.3 percent of all jobs in the Dutch economy last year.

The tourism sector is increasingly important for the Dutch economy. Last year the tourism sector had a 4.4 percent share in the Dutch economy, 0.1 percent more than the year before. The added value of the tourism sector amounted to 30.4 billion euros, an increase of 7.1 percent compared to 2017. Adjusted for price changes, the increase was 5.0 percent. As a whole, the Dutch economy grew by 2.6 percent last year.