The Dutch population spent 12.4 billion euro on holidays in holiday year 2003. This is 2 percent less than in holiday year 2002.
Spending on holidays
Fewer holidays at home
The decrease was entirely on account of holidays within the Netherlands. Both the number of holidays (18.1 million) and the average spending per holidaymaker (145 euro) were lower in 2003 than in 2002.
Spending on foreign holidays remained at about the same level in the same period. A decrease in the number of holidays (to 16.5 million) was compensated by an increase in the average amount spent by holidaymakers (593 euro).
Main foreign holiday destinations
France less popular
In spite of a sharp drop in the number of Dutch people visiting France, this country remained the favourite holiday destination. The Dutch spent a total 2.9 million short breaks and holidays there, 440 thousand fewer than in 2002. France accounted for 17 percent of Dutch holidays, followed by Germany (15 percent) and Belgium (14 percent) in second and third place in the top ten foreign holiday destinations.
In the Mediterranean region, Spain, Italy and Greece were less popular in 2003 than in 2002. Turkey, on the other hand drew more visitors from the Netherlands.
Holidays outside Europe do not seem to have become less popular. Many Dutch people holidayed in Egypt and the Far East, in particular.
Foreign holidays by means of transport
Strong fall for self-drive holidays
For most Dutch people by far, their cars are the way to get to their holiday destination. In 2003 nine out of ten holidaymakers staying in the Netherlands went by car. For people holidaying abroad, this was six out of ten. The total number of holidays by car – at home and abroad – was 900 thousand lower than last year, however.
One year after the terrorist attacks in the United States, the number of people flying to their holiday destinations recovered. The increase (+ 350 thousand air passengers) Was realised entirely outside the period of heavy fighting in Iraq. In 2003, 28 percent of holidaymakers travelled to their foreign holiday destinations by air, 7 percent went by coach and 3 percent by train.
Theo van Miltenburg
Source: StatLine (Dutch only)