This is apparent from research by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
“That 52 billion euros is comparable to the spending of tourists in 2010, the first year that we measured this,” says chief economist Pieter Hein van Mulligen of Statistics Netherlands. “We already knew the blow was hard, but this is really colossal.”
The tourism sector contributes much less to the Dutch economy than before. The share of tourism in the Dutch economy has fallen to 2.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), compared to 4.4 percent in 2019.
Both the spending of foreign tourists (-58 percent) and that of the Dutch (-35 percent) fell because overnight stays were booked less often. “The Dutch often went away for a day in their own country, but often without an overnight stay. They also spent less than foreign tourists,” says Van Mulligen.
In 2020, far fewer foreign tourists also booked accommodation or plane tickets with Dutch companies. Some of these tourists do not actually travel to the Netherlands, but Dutch companies do earn from these bookings.
This concerns, for example, Booking.com or specialized travel agencies, where you can book a trip abroad. They already sounded the alarm last week. There are support measures, but not every travel agency is eligible, for example because there is no external office.
Clap for aviation
In 2020, the added value of the tourism sector amounted to 17.0 billion euros. This is a decrease of 47 percent compared to 2019.
Relatively speaking, the airline, travel agencies and travel brokerage industry took the biggest blow with a 68 percent decline. The share of these companies in tourism added value fell from 24 percent in 2019 to 14 percent in 2020.