substantial rise in hotel guests in 2014

According to figures published by Statistics Netherlands this week, establishments providing overnight accommodation in the Netherlands received considerably more guests in 2014 than in the previous year. Just over half came from Germany, the United Kingdom and Belgium. The increase in the number of overnight guests was largest in the province of Zeeland.

Tourism in the Netherlands grew relatively strongly

In 2014, 36 million guests stayed in overnight accommodation in the Netherlands such as hotels, holiday cottages, camp sites and group accommodation. This is 6 percent more than in 2013, the largest increase for six years. The number of Dutch guests rose by 4 percent, the number of foreigners by as much as 9 percent. This is larger than the 5 percent increase in international tourists worldwide and the 2 percent rise for tourists in western Europe published by the UNWTO.

More tourists from Germany, UK and Belgium in particular

The increase in the number of tourists from Germany, the United kingdom and Belgium (by 12, 11 and 10 percent respectively) had the largest effect on growth in 2014. Together they accounted for 54 percent of all foreign guests in the Netherlands. Belgians and Germans stayed in the weeks before and after the school summer holiday period, perhaps because of the relatively good weather. For British guests the favourable exchange rate  may have contributed to the increase. More tourists also arrived from  Oceania (15 percent), Asia and Africa (both 12 percent), but the effect of this was small because of the relatively small number: 1.3 million. By comparison, from Germany alone 3.9 million people visited the Netherlands.

The majority of foreign guests (79 percent) stay in hotels. Curiously, hotels reported not more but 1 percent fewer guests from Scandinavian countries. For the first time since 2010, there were also fewer guests from Russia (2 percent), maybe because of the exchange rate of the rouble, or the tense political situation.

Strongest increase in Zeeland

The increase in the number of guests was by far largest in overnight accommodation in the province of Zeeland, 17 percent, followed at a distance by North Hollandd (9 percent) and South Holland (8 percent). These three provinces saw a relatively strong increase in the number of Dutch guests as well as foreign tourists. The number of people staying in Limburg and North Brabant remained at the same level. In Flevoland it grew very slightly, by 1 percent.

Figures for 2014 are provisional. The definite figures will be published on 30 June 2015.