Eleven million tourists visited the Netherlands in 2010, matching a record year in 2007.
The number of foreign visitors for both business and holiday purposes grew 11 percent when compared with 2009. That 2010 proved to be another record year is "a result of the recovery in the global economy", says Jos Vranken, director Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC). The increase in the number of flying routes as well as an intensified marketing campaign also contributed to the growth, he added.
The NBTC expects a further growth in 2011 and has chosen 'Dutch DNA' as its promotion theme for this year. The idea is to attract more people from the world of fashion, design and architecture to come to the Netherlands and show them "what makes Holland unique". An earlier theme, 'Dutch Art Cities' - with its wide-reaching appeal - proved extremely successful.
The growth figures for tourism reveal that the Netherlands was popular with the traditionally loyal visitors from Germany, Great Britain and Belgium as well as holiday-makers from North and South America and Asia. In 2010, the number of visitors from Germany was 2.9 million, an increase of five percent on 2009. Great Britain accounted for 1.6 million tourists, up by 11 percent on the previous year, while 9 percent more Belgians chose to visit their neighbours in 2010, 1.3 million in total.
The Netherlands attracted no less than 20 percent more people from the Americas - especially Brazil - and 14 percent from Asia.
The Dutch themselves preferred to holiday abroad - there was a one percent drop in the number of people who usually stay in their own holiday home or caravan.
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