Especially foreign tourism spending rising sharply
Last year, foreign tourists spent nearly 20 billion euros in the Netherlands, an increase of more than 13 percent on 2014. A contributing factor was the growing number of tourist arrivals in the country, up by 8 percent on the previous year.
In addition, more international tourists booked accommodation or (flight) tickets with a Dutch company. A large share of these tourists did not actually visit the Netherlands but the bookings did contribute to the turnover of Dutch companies. Domestic tourist spending by Dutch residents grew by 2.6 percent relative to 2014.
Importance of tourism sector to the Dutch economy has grown
In 2010, the tourism sector accounted for 17.3 billion euros in value added (at basic prices). This amount had increased to 23.3 billion euros or nearly 35 percent by 2015.
Because the tourism sector grew faster than the wider economy, its contribution to GDP rose from 3.0 percent in 2010 to 3.8 percent in 2015.
Tourism sector boosting employment
The number of jobs in the tourism sector went up by 3.5 percent in 2015, to 626 thousand. This represents an increase of 21 thousand jobs.
The number of people employed in the tourism sector grew by more than 3 percent in 2015. A total of 529 thousand people were employed in the sector, together representing 377 thousand full-time jobs or 5.4 percent of the total number of full-time jobs in 2015.
Approximately three-quarters of employment in the industry are typical tourism jobs, i.e. jobs in hotels and restaurants, aviation, tour operators, travel agencies and art and culture. Around one quarter of employment in the tourism sector includes jobs in retail trade, public transport and taxi companies.
In all segments of the tourism sector with the exception of sports, recreation and the gambling industry, the number of FTEs saw year-on-year growth. The number rose most significantly in hotels and restaurants at 5.3 percent.