30 percent fewer tourist overnight stays in 2020

© Hollandse Hoogte / ANP
In 2020, the number of overnight stays in tourist accommodations in the Netherlands fell by 30 percent to 86.2 million relative to the previous year. Hotels and group accommodations saw a decline in particular. Due to a sharp increase in the number of domestic guests over the summer period, the number of overnight stays at campsites and holiday parks declined less rapidly. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of provisional annual figures.

Overnight stays in Dutch tourist accommodations
JaartalDutch guests (x million)Foreign guests (x million)
*Provisional figures

Although the first quarter of 2020 followed a normal pattern, Q2 in particular saw a sharp drop in the number of overnight stays, by 67.5 percent year-on-year. After a slightly better third quarter, especially for campsites and holiday parks, the number fell by 45.9 percent to 12.9 million in Q4.

Last year, a total of 27.6 million guests visited Dutch overnight accommodations, 40 percent down on 2019.

Overnight stays in tourist accommodations, 2020*
Kwartaalyear-on-year % change (year-on-year % change)
*Provisional figures

Hotel guests stay away from big cities

In 2020, hotels and group accommodations recorded the largest decline in overnight stays, to 29.1 million (-47 percent) and 2 million (-55 percent) respectively. For hotels, this is mainly due to fewer overnight stays by foreign guests ( 65 percent).

The absence of hotel guests from abroad was especially noticeable in the big cities. Hotels in Amsterdam booked 72 percent fewer overnight stays. The number of nights spent by Dutch guests in the capital decreased as well, by 45 percent.

The Hague recorded the smallest decline in hotel nights spent by foreign guests (39 percent). Dutch guests spent 44 percent fewer nights in this city.

Campsites and holiday parks hit less hard

Last year, a total of 21 million nights were spent on Dutch campsites (-4 percent). The number of overnight stays by Dutch guests rose because they were more likely to choose domestic destinations for long holidays, partly due to the beautiful summer.

At 2.9 million, the number of Dutch campsite guests remained more or less the same as in 2019. Because they stayed longer on average, the number of nights was up by 10 percent. However, this increase was not enough to compensate for the decline in overnight stays by foreign guests (-42 percent).

Holiday parks saw a relatively small drop in overnight stays of Dutch guests in 2020, while foreign guests stayed away here as well.

Overnight stays in tourist accommodations, 2020*
CategorieDutch guests (year-on-year % change)Foreign guests (year-on-year % change)
Group accommodations-53.48-63.58
Holiday parks-3.07-51.04
*Provisional figures

Accommodations in Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland hit hardest

The number of nights spent in overnight accommodations declined in all provinces. The decline was largest in the provinces of Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland, at 53 and 35 percent respectively; in Friesland and Groningen, it was smallest (8 and 10 percent respectively).

Some provinces are popular holiday destinations among Dutch guests. Groningen, Friesland, Zeeland and to a lesser extent Flevoland saw an increase in the number of overnight stays by Dutch guests in 2020.

Overnight stays in tourist accommodations by province, 2020*
ProvincieDutch guests (year-on-year % change)Foreign guests (year-on-year % change)
Groningen 9.45-54.49
*Provisional figures

Intercontinental guests stay away

Partly due to the flight and travel restrictions, intercontinental guests stayed away in particular last year. The number of overnight stays of guests from Belgium and Germany dropped by 56 and 43 percent respectively, while it was down by more than 80 percent among guests from the Americas, Asia and Oceania.

Guests from the United Kingdom - normally an important tourism market for the Netherlands and Amsterdam in particular - were considerably less likely to stay in our country. This number fell by 74 percent relative to 2019.