In the first half of 2004 11.9 million guests stayed in overnight accommodation in the Netherlands. This is 1.7 percent more than in the first half of 2003.
These tourists stayed for a total of 33.7 million nights, 0.2 percent less than in the first half of 2003. Combined with the 3.2 percent increase in the available overnight accommodation this results in a decrease of the occupancy rate. Visitors spent more nights in hotels and fewer nights in other forms of accommodation.
Nights spent in overnight accommodation by Dutch and foreign guests
More Dutch, fewer German guests
By far the majority of guests were Dutch tourists: 0.9 percent more of them spent the night in accommodation in the Netherlands in the first half of 2004. They had an important effect on developments in the total number of guests and the number of nights spent in accommodation.
But more foreign tourists also came to the Netherlands (+3 percent) than in the first half of 2003, the time of the war in Iraq and the SARS epidemic.
With one exception – the number of Germans – the number of tourists from all countries increased. Germans are the largest group from abroad. The number of Germans visiting the Netherlands fell by 6.7 percent to 1.3 million guests.
Guests by country of origin
Fewer nights on camp sites and in holiday cottages
Germans often make use of holiday accommodation in the Netherlands. The smaller number of German visitors is reflected in the smaller number of nights spent in accommodation in this category. Holidaymakers spent 2.4 percent fewer nights in this category of accommodation in the first half of 2003, foreign guests spent 6.4 percent fewer nights, and Dutch guests 1.3 percent fewer nights.
On the other hand, visitors spent 2.3 percent more nights in hotels: foreign visitors 4.0 more – especially French, Italian, American and Japanese guests – and Dutch visitors 0.5 percent more.
Guests per province
More guests in North and South Holland and Utrecht
From a regional point of view, the number of guests in the western provinces, with the exception of Zeeland, has risen. More guests visited North Brabant, Drenthe, Overijssel and Flevoland too. The other provinces – Zeeland, Friesland, Groningen, Limburg and Gelderland – received fewer tourists. The smaller number of Germans was a main contributor to the decrease in the number of guests in Zeeland.
Vincent van Polanen Petel