Growth fuelled by foreign tourism
Growth in the tourism sector is driven by foreign tourists. In 2016, tourists from abroad spent 21 billion euros in the Netherlands, i.e. 1.3 billion euros (nearly 7 percent) up from one year previously. The number of nights they spent was more than 6 percent up from 2015.
In addition, more foreign tourists booked their accommodation or (flight) ticket with or via a Dutch company. Although many of them did not actually visit the Netherlands, the bookings did contribute to the turnover of Dutch companies.
As tourists in their own country, the Dutch also spent more money on holidays, trips and other recreational activities, including sports and recreational shopping. Domestic tourist spending amounted to 45 billion euros in 2016, 1.5 billion euros (over 3 percent) up from 2015.
Tourism increasingly important to economy
In 2016, the tourism sector accounted for 24.8 billion euros in value added. This amount was over 30 percent lower in 2010, namely 17.3 billion euros.
Because the tourism sector has recorded a sharper growth than the overall economy in recent years, its share in the value added rose from 3.0 percent in 2010 to 3.9 percent in 2016.
641 thousand jobs
The number of jobs in the tourism sector went up by 2.1 percent to 641 thousand in 2016, i.e. an increase of more than 13 thousand. The number of jobs in the Dutch economy rose by 1.0 percent last year. As a result, the share of the tourism sector in the total number of jobs increased further to 6.4 percent.
The number of employed persons in the sector increased by 2 percent to 542 thousand. Many people in tourism work part-time. When converted into full-time equivalents, the sector accounted for 389 jobs in 2016.
Around three-quarters of employment in the industry are typical tourism jobs, e.g. jobs in hotels and restaurants, aviation, the travel industry (tour operators and travel agencies) and art and culture. The other 25 percent concern jobs in e.g. retail trade, public transport and taxi companies.
All segments of the tourism sector recorded a rising volume of labour in 2016 compared to the previous year. Hotels and restaurants posted the sharpest job growth at over 4 percent. In comparison with 2010, the labour volume in this segment was up by 20 percent.