Tourist flow breaks another record
THE HAGUE – Again, a record number of foreign tourists will visit the Netherlands this year. The final prognosis from the NBTC shows that the target of 20 million visitors is coming into sight.
"The increase of tourists is steadily continuing. This year, 19.5 million are expected, 4% more than in 2018. In ten years time that number will increase to at least 29 million. At the beginning of this century there were less than ten million," says NBTC director Jos Vranken. He has made a strategic three-year plan. "We are going to distribute the tourists more and focus on the neighboring countries and the United States, which make up the top 5. We mainly want to attract returning visitors, because they are more likely to visit some place else after they have already visited the Netherlands once," says Vranken.
Vranken is focusing mainly on "influencers" to make the much-needed guidance of tourists a reality. "The traditional Dutch icons, such as our tulips, mills, clogs, cheese, canals and old masters will be revamped. You can go and see those in various places across the Netherlands. Waterworks and the Hanseatic cities, for example, will also be highlighted more."
According to Vranken, it is important that all Dutch people can take advantage of the tourism. "That is why we must solve bottlenecks, improve accessibility and encourage regions to develop more facilities for tourists. We can help to get the right tourists there. This way, the tourism pollution can be reduced," says Vranken. He has received a budget of nine million euros from the ministry for 2020. According to Vranken, it will be difficult to relieve the well-known crowded attractions on the busiest days and to better serve attractions beyond the Randstad that are desperately waiting for tourists. "But if we cooperate more intensively, we should succeed."
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