Flying to vacation abroad more popular than driving for first time

Travelers waiting or their luggage at Schiphol
Travelers waiting or their luggage at SchipholkruwtDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

For the first time ever, more Netherlands residents traveled to their vacation destination abroad by plane than by car. The number of plane trips increased by 3 percent to 10.1 million last year, while the number of car trips decreased by 3 percent to 10 million, according to figures from the Dutch Tourism Board, NOS reports. 

Dutch holidaymakers are visiting countries like Germany, France and Spain less and less, and more often travel to places outside Europe like Bali and Florida, researcher Marieke Politiek said to the broadcaster. "There is not really the feeling of flying shame," she said. "People choose to go to the sun during their vacation, and then simply go by plane. There is a lot on offer on the flight market. There is a lot of attention for sustainability in society, but we don't see that reflected in behavior."

In total, people in the Netherlands went on 39.9 million vacations last year. 84 percent of Dutch went on holiday. The average Netherlands resident went on three trips over 2019.

17.4 million vacations were to destinations in the Netherlands itself, with the Veluwe, the coast and the sandy soils of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe being most popular. Though the number of overnight stays in the Netherlands decreased by 10 percent.

22.4 million vacations were to foreign destinations. Germany is still the most popular destination among Netherlands residents, with nearly 3.6 million vacations. France and Spain came in second place with 2.6 million vacations, followed by Belgium with 1.7 million and Italy with 1.3 million.