The tourism sector is becoming ever more important to the Dutch economy. In 2015, tourist spending was around 5 percent up from the previous year for the second consecutive year. The value of this expenditure has risen to a total of 72.7 billion euros, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
Especially foreign tourism spending rising sharply
Last year, foreign tourists spent nearly 20 billion euros in the Netherlands, an increase of more than 13 percent on 2014. A contributing factor was the growing number of tourist arrivals in the country, up by 8 percent on the previous year.
In addition, more international tourists booked accommodation or (flight) tickets with a Dutch company. A large share of these tourists did not actually visit the Netherlands but the bookings did contribute to the turnover of Dutch companies. Domestic tourist spending by Dutch residents grew by 2.6 percent relative to 2014.
Importance of tourism sector to the Dutch economy has grown
In 2010, the tourism sector accounted for 17.3 billion euros in value added (at basic prices). This amount had increased to 23.3 billion euros or nearly 35 percent by 2015.
Because the tourism sector grew faster than the wider economy, its contribution to GDP rose from 3.0 percent in 2010 to 3.8 percent in 2015.