Guests spent in 81.5 million nights in overnight accommodation in the Netherlands in 2003. This is 0.9 million (1.1 percent) down on 2002. The number of guests was also lower: 25.1 million, 50 thousand or 0.2 percent fewer than in 2002. This means that the average stay in hotels was slightly shorter.
Guests and nights spent in accommodation, per quarter
The year-on-year development shows a sharp drop in the fist quarter of 2003: the number of nights guests spent in Dutch accommodation fell by 8.1 percent and the number of guests by 4.7 percent. There was a slight recovery in the second and third quarters, but it did not continue into the fourth quarter of 2003.
The decreases are larger than those in the second and third quarters of 2001, which were connected with the foot-and-mouth crisis and the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. However, as those decreases continued longer, the overall decrease in 2003 was not as great as in 2001.
In 2002 the number of nights spent in Dutch overnight accommodation recovered slightly, and the number of guests stabilised. The number of nights spent in 2003 was still 1.3 percent lower than in 2000, and the number of guests was 3 percent lower.
More Belgians, fewer Brits
Both Dutch (-0.6 percent) and foreign guests (-2.1 percent) spent fewer nights in Dutch accommodation. Germans, the largest group of foreigners visiting the Netherlands, spent 0.6 percent fewer nights here. In addition there were fewer Brits, Americans and other non-Europeans in particular. Belgians, on the other hand, spent 15.3 percent more nights in Dutch accommodation.
Foreign guests in Dutch overnight accommodation
There are several explanations for these developments. The number of tourists has fallen by 1.2 percent worldwide as a consequence of the war in Iraq, the SARS epidemic and the ongoing economic recession. The high value of the euro against sterling is seen as one of the reason for the lower number of tourists from Britain.
Fewer hotel bookings
The decrease in the number of nights spent in Dutch accommodation was entirely on account of fewer nights spent in hotels. Guests spent 3.7 percent fewer nights in Dutch hotels, a total of 27.5 million, and the number of hotel guests fell similarly: by 3.6 percent to 14.4 million.
Both the number of guests and the number of nights spent in recreational accommodation increased in 2003. The number of nights spent rose by 0.3 percent to 54 million, and the number of guests increased by 4.8 percent to 10.7 million.
Nights spent in accommodation
Vincent van Polanen Petel
Source: StatLine (Dutch only)