In Q1 2016, turnover was 24 percent above the dip at height of the recession late 2009. On average across the EU, turnover increased by 20 percent. Turnover generated by the sector hotels and restaurants in the Netherlands has been above the pre-recession level from Q4 2013 onwards and has been on the rise ever since.
The robust growth in recent years has made the sector hotels and restaurants more important for the Dutch economy. Its share in total value added rose to 1.8 percent in 2015, up from 1.7 percent in 2007. In 2010 the share had slumped to 1.6 percent.
Recovery since 2009
Between Q1 2008 and Q4 2009, the Dutch hotels and restaurants sector suffered turnover losses. Turnover slumped by 8.5 percent over that period. Not all EU countries were affected by the slump. Poland, for example, the sector saw turnover grow by 7.5 percent, Belgium boasted a 2.6 percent turnover growth. In France, too, the sector was hardly affected by the recession. The French recorded a turnover growth by nearly 7 percent between early 2008 and late 2009.
Compared to the Netherlands, various other countries were hit harder by the recession; Spain lost nearly 12 percent and Greece and Germany 10 and 7 percent respectively.
After 2009, turnover picked up in nearly all EU countries and reached a level above the pre-crisis era; only in Portugal, Greece and Spain turnover results are still below the pre-recession level1. Belgium (+35 percent) and France (+37 percent) performed best after Poland, where a whopping turnover growth by nearly 75 percent was achieved since 2008. However, the sector hotels and restaurants in Poland is relatively small.
Sector hotels and restaurants important in traditional tourist countries
In the Netherlands, the number of people employed2 in the sector hotels and restaurants has risen from 344 thousand in 2008 to 374 thousand in 2014, approximately 4.3 percent of all people employed were active in this sector in 2014. This is just below the EU average of 4.8 percent.
In the rest of Europe, these percentages vary considerably. The sector hotels and restaurants in Cyprus, a small country, but an important holiday destination, accounts for 10.9 percent of all employed. The sector is also important in the traditional holiday destinations, i.e. countries like Greece (7.6 percent), Spain (7.6 percent), Portugal (5.9 percent) and Italy (5.7 percent). In Romania (2.0 percent), Poland (2.1 percent), Lithuania (2.5 percent) and Latvia (3.2 percent), the sector is less important than in the Netherlands3.
¹ Data on Greece for Q1 2016 have as yet not been received. Data on Q4 2015 have been used instead.
2 This approach only takes into account the sector where employed earn most of their income.
3 Data on Portugal and Romania refer to 2013.