82% of Dutch popualtion goes on a holiday

Outbound tourism The Netherlands highest figures in history

Figures of outbound travel from The Netherlands have never been higher in history before. That is what the annual trends and expectations presentation of Dutch NBTC-NIPO Research at the Dutch Travel exhibition Vakantiebeurs reveals.

36.7 million holidays taken in 2017

The annual Dutch holiday fair, the ‘Vakantiebeurs’ is the traditional kick-off of the travel season and starts with a presentation on tourism statistics from The Netherlands. In 2017 the number of holidays grew by 3% to a total of 36.7 million of which 19,1 million outside Holland. Due to economic prosperity the number of holidays taken by the Dutch grew significantly. 13 million Dutch (82% of the population) have travelled at least once in the last year. A growth of nearly 250.000 compared to 2016. Quite remarknale, the largets growth in percentage (+18%) was for intercontinental holidays.


Germany remains the number one holiday destination for the Dutch with 3.5 million holidays (-2%), followed by France (+7%) and Spain (+9%). While Greece saw a lot of holidaymakers return (+40%), Turkey doesn’t make the Top 10 for the first time in many years due to political disruptions and terrorism (threats)(-40%). The most popular domestic destination was the Veluwe, surpassing the North Sea beach resorts for the first time.


The average Dutch tourist takes 2.82 holidays a year which is the highest number in five years. If we split it between short (2-7 days) and long (8+ days) holidays, we see that short trips (i.e. city trips, family weekends etc.) grew significantly in the last year (+11%) while holidays of 8 days and longer grew by 5%.

Holiday expenditure

In 2017 the Dutch spent € 16.8 billion on holidays (+8%). € 3 billion was spent on domestic holidays, € 13.8 billion on outbound travel. The increase in spending is fully related to the increase of outbound holidays.

Expectations for 2018 and trends

NBTC-NIPO Research is positive about tourism figures for 2018. The fast growing economy is likely to result in an increase in travel. Although the increase might be slowed due to geo-political tensions and (fear of) terrorism. This results in Dutch tourits visiting more ‘safe’ countries.

Trends to notice are:

  • More short trips
  • DIY-holidays continuously popular
  • Seniors (55+) a strong growing target audience
  • More luxury travel
  • More intercontinental travel
  • Family & Friends, own experience and online travel inspiration are the most important sources of inspiration
Top 10 holiday destination Dutch tourists | Baltus Communications

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