NEW YORK, January 20, 2016 -- The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) today announced that more than 1 million Americans visited Holland in 2015 – surpassing the milestone for the first time since 2006. An increase of 3% year over year, the success in attracting more Americans to visit Holland contributed to an overall increase of international tourists in 2015 which reached 14.9 million total according to Statistics Netherlands.
A variety of factors likely contributed to the successful year for NBTC in the US market. The improving American economy, and favorable U.S. dollar to Euro exchange rate helped to intrigue Americans to book travel to Europe. Americans were also attracted to the significant cultural offering in Holland.
Specifically, Dutch Master Rembrandt attracted record crowds for the Late Rembrandt exhibition at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. In addition, the Van Gogh Year: 125 Years of Inspiration celebration of Vincent Van Gogh inspired visitors to travel around The Netherlands to trace the footsteps of where the artist lived and worked. Travelers were also eager to visit The Hague where Vermeer’s famous Girl with a Pearl Earring painting is housed in the Mauritshuis Museum.
“Americans are again visiting Holland in record numbers. Welcoming 1 million Americans this year reinforces the US market as an important source of international arrivals,” said Rosina Shiliwala, Director, North America. “While our capital city, Amsterdam, remains popular among Americans, we see more and more U.S. travelers getting off the beaten track and exploring a variety of other Dutch cities, villages and the beautiful countryside to see what Holland has to offer.”
To spread awareness of the unique attractions and experiences to be had in Holland, NBTC’s “Holland. The Original Cool.” US campaign entered its third year in 2015, with a slew of new videos and inspiring articles to show US travelers that Holland is the originator of all things cool today – from biking and boutique shopping to artisanal foods and art. The campaign inspired many consumer visits to www.holland.com/cool where information and trip planning ideas can be found.
Americans will continue to delight in spectacular exhibitions and events in 2016 and beyond. Masterpieces from important medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch are heading to his home city of Den Bosch for a special exhibition Visions of a Genius at the Noordbrabants Museum. The exhibition, beginning in February 2016, is timed to commemorate 500 years since the artist’s death. In addition, 2017 will be the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Dutch artistic movement De Stijl (The Style), founded in Holland by Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg. Events and exhibitions are planned throughout the country.