Tourist spending dramatically down

20/07/2010 15:00

Dutch and foreign tourists spent 35.2 billion euro in the Netherlands last year, 3.8 percent less than one year previously. If price changes are taken into account, the decline was even more dramatic (4.7 percent). Foreign as well as Dutch tourists spent less in the Netherlands in 2009.

Domestic tourist spending and GDP (expressed in prices of 2001)

Domestic tourist spending and GDP (expressed in prices of 2001)

Tourists spent less on transport

Tourist spending on transport declined considerably. Last year tourist spending on transport totalled 5.1 billion euro, a decline by 9.3 percent relative to 2008. Adjusted for price changes, spending on passenger transport dropped less rapidly (4.1 percent).

Prices of airline tickets plummeted and fewer tickets were sold. Due to the economic crisis, people choose to go on holiday less often and their holidays are shorter and closer to home. As a result, more people go on holiday by car and fewer prefer to fly to their holiday destination.

The introduction of the aviation tax in the Netherlands also was an important factor causing fewer Dutch holidaymakers to fly from Dutch airports. Airports just across the border in Germany and Belgium recorded an increase in Dutch passengers.

Domestic tourist spending

Domestic tourist spending

Tourists cut back on spending in sector hotels and restaurants

Tourist spending in the sector hotels and restaurants was reduced by 3.9 percent relative to 2008. If price increases in the sector are not taken into account, tourist spending dropped by no less than 6.7 percent. Expenditure on durable recreational goods, e.g. caravans, camping and sports equipment declined by 3.3 percent in 2009. Expenditure on cultural services, sports and other recreational activities rose marginally, because Dutch tourists stayed closer to home and more often visited museums and amusement parks than in the previous year.

Angelique Klinkers