Visitors from abroad spent EUR 10.2 billion on visits to Holland

The fourteen million international visitors who came to Holland in 2014 spent EUR 10.2 billion on their visit to our country. In addition to accommodation and travel expenses, they spent EUR 2.1 billion on food and drinks and EUR 1 billion on shopping and souvenirs. This is shown by the Incoming Tourism Survey ‘A closer look at our foreign visitors’. NBTC Holland Marketing presented this survey last week to Minister Henk Kamp of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

In 2014, just under 70% of all visitors came to our country for a holiday, a total of well over 9.6 million tourists. City breaks (35%) and holidays along the coast (22%) are especially popular. These tourists spent over EUR 600 per person on their holidays in Holland. In addition, well over 25% travelled to Holland for business purposes; some 3.6 million business trips. These business visitors spent an average of EUR 1,000 on their visits. The major part of the total expenditure, EUR 3.7 billion, was spent on accommodation, while EUR 2.1 billion was spent on food and drink and EUR 1.7 billion on travel to Holland. Almost three quarters of the total amount was spent on these three categories, with shopping and souvenirs ranking fourth.

Short and very good

Most visitors stay for a relatively short period. More than half of all visitors, 55%, stay fewer than three nights. They have rated their stay in Holland increasingly higher over the years. Over 85% of the visitors rate their visit ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’. They indicate that there is room for improvement for the information that is available, the price level and the user-friendliness of public transport.

Marketing and Branding

The number of tourists and business travellers who visited Holland went up approximately 40% in the past fifteen years. In 2014, Holland welcomed some fourteen million visitors. By 2020 this is expected to have increased to sixteen million. To take full advantage of the opportunities offered by international tourism, data on the behaviour of international visitors is essential. After all, this information is required to make the right marketing and branding choices for the destination Holland.

“The results of the survey provide pivotal input for our marketing policy for the coming years. Our strategy is aimed at sustainable and smart growth through the spread of tourism. In addition to the well-known and popular places, we also promote the lesser-known regions and places of interest. This helps to ensure that Holland will also benefit from the growth in incoming tourism in the future,” says Jos Vranken, Managing Director of NBTC.


Every four to five years NBTC carries out a major survey into incoming tourism. The survey explores, among other things, the reasons why the international visitors travel to Holland, their search and book behaviour, activities they undertake in Holland, their spend, and how they rate their visit. Some 4,300 visitors from around the world were interviewed for the 2014 Incoming Tourism Survey.  

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