Together, Dutch and foreign tourists spent 36.9 billion euro in the Netherlands in 2008, 2.8 percent more than in 2007. However, if price developments are taken into account, this results in a fall of 0.9 percent in tourist spending. Dutch tourists account for about 80 percent of tourist expenditure.
Tourist spending in the Netherlands, GDP and consumer confidence
Tourist spending sensitive to economic situation
Spending on tourist goods and services such as camping equipment, hotels and restaurants, amusement parks and transport are sensitive to the state of the economy. Consumers usually spend less on luxury items in times of economic recession. Although the volume growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) was 2.0 percent in 2008, consumer confidence went into freefall in the middle of the year. The volume of tourist spending was 0.9 percent lower than in 2007, when it was still 3.4 percent. At the beginning of this century, too, a fall in tourist spending accompanied strongly negative consumer confidence levels.
Domestic tourist consumption by sector of industry, 2008
Spending in hotels and restaurants under pressure
Spending in hotels and restaurants in particular came under pressure in 2008. After adjustments for price developments, tourists spent 2.8 percent less in these establishments than in 2007. This reduced the share of tourist spending accounted for by hotels and restaurants, from 37 percent in 2007 to 36 percent in 2008. Tourists spent about the same amount on transport as in 2007. The share of transport in total tourists spending is about one fifth.
Tourists spent 1.1 percent more on museums, football stadiums and amusement parks than in 2007. Spending on other tourists goods ands services remained unchanged; this category includes items like caravans, camping and sports equipment, but also retail spending.
Angelique Klinkers and Rob van der Holst