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Both domestic and foreign tourists have been spending less money during their leisure trips in the Netherlands in the last two years, though the expenditures are higher for 2021 compared to 2020.
A report published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on Monday, September 19, shows that last year, tourists spent a total of €5.7 billion more than in the previous year, yet the amount remained at €31.9 billion less compared to pre-pandemic (2019).
The partial recovery mainly came from domestic tourism, which includes both domestic spending by Dutch tourists and trips abroad booked by Dutch tourists with Dutch travel companies. Inbound foreign tourism also yielded more revenue,” the report reads.
It also points out that the recovery of tourism happened parallelly with the relaxation of the Coronavirus measures, which in 2020 were much tighter, and later in 2021, many of them were completely removed.
In 2020, when the COVID-19 restrictions had been the tightest, due to the severity of the virus and the absence of the vaccine, tourist expenditures had fallen by 4.2 per cent compared to the previous year, 2019.
The massive drop in expenditures had resulted in eliminating the growth marked in the last ten years, thus falling below the level of 2010. In 2021, the expenditure levels were again below those of 2010 as well.
Statistics Netherlands also reveals that in 2021, foreign tourists coming to the Netherlands spent an amount of €17.8 billion during their time in the country. The amount spent also includes expenditures foreign tourists made when booking a trip outside the Netherlands using Dutch tourism service providers.
Despite an increase of 2.1 billion euros relative to 2020, in 2021, these revenues were still far below pre-COVID level. In 2019, foreign tourist spending within the Dutch economy still amounted to 34.7 billion euros, nearly twice as much as in 2021,” highlights the report published by CBS.
In 2020, foreign tourists accounted for 29.6 per cent of expenditures and for 30.2 per cent of them in 2021. The share had increased from 25 per cent in 2010 to 38.2 per cent in 2019, pre-pandemic.
While the number of Dutch tourists spending money travelling abroad in 2021 was higher than that in 2020, the numbers still remain 60.05 per cent lower than in 2019.
Data show that Dutch passport holders spent €7.5 billion in 2021, while in 2019, they had spent €17.5 billion. The main reason for such a drop is asserted to be the COVID-19 measures kept in place by countries worldwide in the last two years.
The Netherlands removed all Coronavirus-related travel restrictions last Saturday, September 19, for all kinds of travellers, including those from non-European Union countries. The country was one of the last EU states to keep entry restrictions in place, though they were light.
Now, Spain and Luxembourg are the two last countries still enforcing COVID- 19 restrictions. It is expected that the EU Commission will soon come up with a proposal on the revision of COVID-19 entry rules to the Member States in autumn 2022.

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