Tourism increasingly important part of Dutch economy

Tourism increasingly important part of Dutch economy


Tourism is an increasingly important part of the Dutch economy, accounting for 3.9% of GDP last year, a 25% rise on 2010, national statistics office CBS said on Monday.

In total, tourists spent €76m in the Netherlands last year, up 4% on 2015, the CBS said.

Spending on hotels, museums and souvenirs by foreign tourists was up 7% year on year, but Dutch tourists accounted for the bulk of the spending with €45bn, the CBS said.

The number of people working in the tourism sector has also gone up. The total tourism workforce rose 2% last year, while in the economy as a whole there was a 1% increase in jobs.

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Some 542,000 people work in tourism, but a large proportion of them have part time work. These figures not only include people working in museums, hotels and souvenir shops but in public transport, taxis and retail.


The CBS’s chief economist Piet Hein van Mulligen told the Volkskrant there is enough  anecdotal evidence that tourism is a ‘growing nuisance’. This is particularly the case in cities like Amsterdam, Venice and Barcelona, he said.

‘But you don’t see the consequences of that in macroeconomic terms. In fact, looking at the number of overnight stays they are increasing far more rapidly in Amsterdam than in the rest of the Netherlands,’ he said.

In global terms, around 10% of people are employed in tourism, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. And in Croatia, Italy, France and Spain tourism accounts for a larger share of GDP than the Netherlands.