Tourism sector increasingly important

The tourism sector is becoming ever more important to the Dutch economy. In 2015, tourist spending was around 5 percent up from the previous year for the second consecutive year. The value of this expenditure has risen to a total of 72.7 billion euros, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Total value of tourism expenditure in the Dutch economy
 Other expenditureForeign tourism expenditureExpenditure domestic tourism destination abroadExpenditure domestic tourism destination the Netherlands

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: value added at basic prices
 Tourism: value added at basic prices

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.

Share of employment per activity, 2015
 Series 0
Hotels and restaurants47
Aviation, tour operators and travel agencies7
Art, culture and hobby clubs10
Sports, recreation and gambling12

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.

Employment (volume of work) per activity (2010 =100)
 HospitalityAviation/tour operators/travel agenciesArt/culture/hobby clubsSports/recreation/gamblingOther