Number of Dutch holidaymakers reaches low point in Q2

© CBS / Alrik Swagerman
The number of Dutch people who went on holiday in the second quarter of 2020 was 65 percent lower than in the same period last year. By far the sharpest decrease was in foreign holidays: by 98 percent in both April and May. The number of people spending a holiday in their own country picked up again in the course of Q2. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on the latest figures from the Continuous Holiday Survey.

The decline in the number of Dutch holidaymakers which set in in March continued into Q2. In April, fewer than 400 thousand people went on holiday, 88 percent (2.7 million) less than in April 2019. This brought the number of Dutch holiday travellers to an all-time low. In May, there were 3.4 million fewer holidaymakers, i.e. a year-on-year decline of 77 percent. In June, the difference with 2019 was slightly smaller again at 55 percent (2.8 million fewer holidaymakers).

Number of Dutch holidaymakers*
Maand2019 (x 1 million)2020 (x 1 million)
*Provisional figures

Hardly any foreign holidays, cautious recovery of domestic holidays

In Q2 2020, Dutch people hardly travelled abroad for a holiday due to the coronavirus crisis, with declines of 98 percent year-on-year in April and May. In April, only 36 thousand people went on holiday abroad and in May 69 thousand. This is a considerably larger decrease than for domestic holidays with declines of 72 percent in April and 46 percent in May. In June, the number of domestic tourists was only 19 percent lower than one year previously. There was barely any recovery in holiday trips abroad as the number of travellers was 87 percent lower than in June 2019.

Dutch holidaymakers, 2020*
MaandWithin the Netherlands (year-on-year % change)Abroad (year-on-year % change)
*Provisional figures

Holiday expenditure down by nearly 90 percent

In Q2 2020, Dutch tourists spent 0.6 billion euros on holidays, versus more than 5.4 billion euros in the same period in 2019. This represents a decrease of 88 percent. In terms of expenditure as well, mainly foreign holidays are affected, declining by 96 percent. Expenditure on domestic trips fell by 51 percent.

In April 2020, foreign holiday expenditure by Dutch tourists fell to 21 million euros. It subsequently dropped even further in May to 15 million euros. Year-on-year, these consecutive declines amounted to 98 and 99 percent. Spending rose again slightly in June to 142 million euros, i.e. 93 percent lower than one year previously.

Domestic tourist spending as well was significantly lower in Q2 2020 at 455 million euros, down from 922 million in 2019. The lowest point was April with 35 million euros (83 percent decline year-on-year). Spending subsequently rose to 114 million euros in May (a year-on-year decline of 58 percent) and to 306 million euros in June (31 percent).

Holiday expenditure, 2020*
MaandWithin the Netherlands (year-on-year % change)Abroad (year-on-year % change)
*Provisional figures

Spending on domestic holidays higher than on foreign holidays

In Q2 2020, expenditure on holidays within the Netherlands was higher than on trips abroad. Normally, expenditure on holidays abroad is higher by 4 to 5 times. For domestic vacations, Q2 figures show a tentative recovery. The number of people staying in the Netherlands for their holiday in June 2020 was still down by 19 percent relative to June 2019. Expenditure on domestic holidays recovered less rapidly and is still 30 percent lower than one year previously.