Dutch people enjoying the outdoors en masse as temperatures rise
With plenty of sun and spring-like temperatures, the whole of the Netherlands seems to be out and about. Many holiday parks are fully booked, and it was busy in national parks on Saturday. On the beaches, the pavilions finally expect to have an income again, even though they are not allowed to receive guests.
"It gives so much energy. We love to be busy again," said Thomas de Boer of beach pavilion Enkhuizen in an interview with NH Nieuws. "Everyone has to have their own drink on the beach. But with some music and some sunshine, that is of course very nice."
"People want to get out. They are tired of sitting inside," says Arthur van Disseldorp of Recron, the trade association for recreational companies.
The 523 bungalows in Het Vennenbos holiday park in Hapert in Noord-Brabant are all rented out. "That is the first time since last summer," said manager Jeffrey Stultjens at Omroep Brabant. Normally, the tropical swimming paradise and the indoor playgrounds are the main attractions of the park. They are now closed due to corona.
"Still, people like to come to our park. Because of the nice weather we had quite a few bookings at the last minute. The guests now come for the beautiful nature in this area.
"I was ready for it," says one of the guests of the Vennenbos. "When we booked last weekend, there was still snow and ice. These temperatures are a nice windfall." She doesn't mind that the attractions are closed. "We have two small children. It will be a lot of playgrounds."
Fully booked at the last minute
Park manager Edward Nederend is also happy at holiday park De Flaasbloem in Chaam. "We had fifteen cancellations from Belgian and German guests who normally come to our park during this period.
Not everyone ventures into nature or the beaches. In Rotterdam, one can choose one of the many walks on Stadswandeling010. With the option to get a snack and drink from cafes and restaurants along the route. Initially, the municipality banned the initiative for fear that the corona measures could not be enforced. But in the end, persmission was given as the possible walking routes change all the time.
"Very nice that we are allowed to continue," said Rutger Van Stigt Thans, one of the initiators. Hundreds of people have already registered for a walk this weekend.
Short-lived spring is fun
Beach tents, holiday parks and the catering industry could use a helping hand, everyone agrees. But one sunny weekend is of course not enough to make up for all the lost income of the past months. "This short-lived spring is nice, but we certainly shouldn't rely on it," says Van Disseldorp of Recron. "I think we will really miss 90 to 97 percent of the turnover. Takeaway is only a bandaid against the bleeding," agrees Bas de Jong of branch organization Strand Nederland.
Kevin Bredewout of beach pavilion Luctor et Emergo in Camperduin doesn't care. "It finally pays off to be back to work," he says. "That makes for such a positive feeling."