Belgium in second placeGermany is followed by Belgium, but the gap is considerable. Belgians accounted for 1.4 bn euros spent in the Netherlands, more than 13 percent of total spending. The United Kingdom, the US, France and Italy follow, consistent with the numbers of travellers coming to the Netherlands.
Dutch top spenders in Germany
Germans are the top spenders in the Netherlands, but the opposite is also true: Dutch travellers spent more than 3.4 bn euros in 2015. They spent more than half (1.8 bn euros) on goods and services they purchased just across the border and during day trips.
Belgium is also a popular destination for Dutch travellers, in particular for day trippers. Annually, they spend nearly 1.5 bn euros during visits to Belgium, only slightly less than in summer holiday country number 1 France, but significantly more than in other holiday destinations, like Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece and Turkey.
The United Kingdom and the United States are ranking high, due to their prominent position in international business travel. After Germany, the US is the second destination for business travellers, with the UK in fourth place after Belgium.
Dutch spend more abroad than vice versa
Dutch tourist spending abroad in, for example, France, Spain, the US, Austria and Italy is much higher than vice versa. This accounts for the large trade deficit in business and holiday travel: in total, the Dutch spent over 5 bn euros more abroad (nearly 16 bn euros) last year than foreigners spent in the Netherlands (more than 10 bn euros).
With net earnings of 1.5 bn euros in 2015, Germany is the only country with which the Netherlands has a large positive trade balance in holiday and business spending. As mentioned earlier, Germans spent nearly 5 bn euros in the Netherlands (export travel services), while the Dutch spent nearly 3.5 bn euros in Germany (import travel services).
On balance, the Netherlands also has a positive trade balance with Poland, Russia, Israel and China, but the amounts involved are smaller.