Foreign tourism in NL 69% lower than pre-Covid
The number of foreign tourists who visited the Netherlands last year was even lower than in the first coronavirus year. According to the Netherlands Bureau for Tourism and Congresses (NBTC), over 6 million international guests visited the country. That's a 14 percent drop compared to 2020. Compared to 2019, the last year before the coronavirus, international tourism was 69 percent lower.
According to Jos Vranken, general manager of NBTC, tourism's recovery is linked to the revival of international travel. At best, the Netherlands will welcome 12 million foreign tourists this year. That is only if there are almost no travel restrictions in the spring, summer, and autumn. In that scenario, international conferences would also pick up again.
In a slightly darker script, the NBTC expects 9 million international visitors. In that case, omicron hampers recovery. In this scenario, the NBTC also takes account of a revival of the coronavirus in the autumn and fewer conferences and fair trades. Before the crisis, the Netherlands welcomed 20.1 million international visitors. Tourism will not recover to that level this year.
26 million Dutch tourists vacationed in the Netherlands last year, 30 percent more than in 2020 and equal to pre-Covid levels. If restrictions continue to be relaxed, the NBTC expects more Dutch people to holiday abroad this year, where they more often sought entertainment in the Netherlands in the past two years. The agency, therefore, assumes a 7 percent decrease in Netherlands residents holidaying in their own country.
Reporting by ANP.