Again fewer foreign tourists in overnight accommodations in 2021

Camping guest Floris uses the private sanitary facilities at the Solse Berg campsite.
© Hollandse Hoogte / ANP
In 2021, the number of foreign tourists staying in Dutch overnight accommodations fell by 13 percent year on year. Relative to 2019, it was 69 percent lower. The number of domestic guests did increase last year, approaching the level of 2019. Altogether 32 million Dutch and foreign tourists stayed in overnight accommodations in 2021, 17 percent more than in the previous year but still 30 percent fewer than in 2019. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on new, provisional figures.

Guests at Dutch overnight accommodations
JaartalDomestic (x million)Foreign (x million)
*Provisional figures

Hotels see largest decline in foreign guests

In 2021, 6.3 million foreign guests stayed in Dutch tourist accommodations. All accommodation types showed a decrease in overnight visitors last year, with the exception of group accommodations. Year on year, the decline was largest among hotels (-14 percent). Relative to 2019, there were even 72 percent fewer foreign tourists at Dutch hotels and related accommodations.

More domestic guests

The number of domestic guests decreased year on year by 28 percent to 25.7 million, around the same number as in the year before the coronavirus pandemic. The increase was visible among all accommodation types but was largest among group accommodations. Relative to 2019, campsites and holiday parks received 29 and 23 percent more Dutch guests, respectively.

Guests at Dutch overnight accommodations, 2021
Categorie% change relative to 2020 (%)% change relative to 2019 (%)
Domestic guests20.01-11.85
Foreign guests-14.25-71.79
Domestic guests33.1429.30
Foreign guests-13.82-55.34
Holiday parks
Domestic guests39.4123.09
Foreign guests-11.03-59.90
Group accommodations
Domestic guests56.66-41.08
Foreign guests4.76-60.00

Number of guests from Germany and the UK continues to decline

In 2021, there were again fewer guests from Germany and the United Kingdom at Dutch overnight accommodations. Relative to a year earlier, the number of guests from Germany fell by 24 percent to 2.5 million. The number of guests from the UK dropped by 65 percent to 210 thousand. Compared to 2019, there were 60 percent fewer guests from Germany and 91 percent fewer guests from the UK. The number of visitors from Belgium remained more or less the same. It was 56 percent down on 2019.

Guest rates relating to the other European countries increased by 15 percent year on year. Relative to 2019, this was still 64 percent lower. The number of guests from the rest of the world was down by 6 percent. It was 84 percent lower than in 2019.

Guests at Dutch overnight accommodations by country of origin, 2021
Land2019 (million)2020 (million)2021 (million)
Other European
Rest of the world4.0780.7180.673
United Kingdom2.4020.5950.21

Biggest increase in Zeeland, slight decrease in Groningen

In 2021, the number of overnight guests increased most rapidly in the province of Zeeland, by 30 percent to 2.6 million. Groningen was the only province with a decline in occupancy rates (-4 percent).

Virtually all provinces received fewer visitors compared to 2019. Only Fryslân recorded virtually the same the number of guests in 2021 relative to two years previously. In Noord-Holland, guest numbers were 57 percent down on 2019. Especially the capital’s number of foreign guests lagged behind; it was more than three quarters lower in 2021 than two years earlier. Despite a decline, Noord-Holland province again received most guests last year (6.6 million).

Number of overnight guests per province, 2021
Provincie% change relative to 2020 (y-o-y % change)% change relative to 2019 (y-o-y % change)
Zeeland 30.24-5.13
Overijssel 28.15-6.39
Flevoland 25.99-13.46
Zuid-Holland 24.90-28.94
Utrecht 24.57-15.87
Noord-Brabant 24.53-22.24
Gelderland 18.44-9.11
Fryslân 17.86-0.62
Limburg 17.29-19.49
Drenthe 15.90-14.21
Noord-Holland 2.66-57.55
Groningen -3.74-32.84