THE HAGUE, the Netherlands – The Hague shows a 7.7% growth in overnight stays in 2015. In particular, the number of overnight visits from abroad has grown significantly by almost 19% since 2014.
With that, the city shows the largest growth of the three largest cities in the Netherlands (with Amsterdam at 2.9% and Rotterdam at 6.1%). This is evidenced by the CBS figures for 2015. On the basis of the spending of foreign and Dutch visitors, the almost 1.5 million overnight stays present The Hague with a minimum of 350 million Euro in economic spending.
Worldwide tourist growth is at 4% (UNWTO) and countrywide 4.4%. With its growth of 7.7%, The Hague shows above-average growth in tourism.
Particular growth in foreign tourists
The growth in The Hague in particular is due to more foreigners (+12%) staying overnight for longer (+18.8%). In the Netherlands overnight stays lay behind (-3.2%). Germany is the most important country of origin: 121,000 Germans visited The Hague, a growth of almost 25%. In total, the Germans stayed 234,000 nights. This is a growth of almost 34%. The second place still belongs to guests from Great Britain with 68,000 guests (+9.7%) and 105,000 overnight stays (+15.4%), followed by the Belgians with 43,000 guests (+16.2%) and 68,000 overnight stays (+15.3%). The biggest growth percentage in The Hague was reserved for China with a growth of 60% to 8,000 guests. But Italy also showed a nice growth of 37.5% to 11,000 guests. Dutch visitors were good for 668,000 nights.
Spending in the city: 350 million Euro
A Dutchman spends approximately 95 Euro per night on average in the city and a foreign visitor 215 Euro on average. On average, a business visitor spends 300 Euro per night. The business and recreational distribution for The Hague is 55% and 45% respectively. Collectively, in total, it generates 350 million Euro in economic activities for the city. This is only the spending of accommodation-related tourism.
Why do visitors come to The Hague?
In general, the great icons of The Hague that prove to be the most popular among visitors are the renovated pier and beach, the Peace Palace, Mauritshuis, (Palace) Noordeinde or Madurodam. In 2015, there was much demand amongst the Belgians in particular for the big exhibitions at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag such as Rothko and Anton Corbijn. Where Germans traditionally mainly came for The Hague’s beaches, Scheveningen and Kijkduin, they now increasingly come for a cultural visit and they mix city and beach. The Chinese and Americans love Mauritshuis and Escher in the Palace.
‘The Hague in top 3 in terms of preference’
The Hague Marketing aims to achieve an annual growth of 3% in the number of overnight stays, with 1.5 million hotel nights in total by 2020. The Hague also has to be in the top three cities in the Netherlands as rated by Dutch visitors. Marco Esser, Director at The Hague Marketing: “We are on track when it comes to growth and the number of overnight stays. We are also in the top three of cities being considered and preferred to visit. We are proud of it! But it can and should be better: our continuous image research shows that not everyone has a good image of The Hague. We therefore started with an image campaign in the Fall to ensure that people not only consider The Hague, but also actually make the booking. There is more potential which we must exploit to contribute even more to The Hague’s economy and employment.”
Nienke van der Malen, Director of The Hague Convention Bureau: “The extra investment in the acquisition of conferences in the coming years is going to cash out. The objective is to have realized a 50% increase in the number of business events by 2018. That will also contribute to The Hague’s economy and employment.”
Karsten Klein, Deputy Mayor of Urban Economy, Welfare and Ports: “The Municipal Management invests in making room for entrepreneurship and activity in the City. So more visitors, more international congresses, appealing events and sought-after catering venues. All of this makes for extra spending and that is good for the economy. The visitor figures are a nice boost, especially for all those Hague entrepreneurs who make a visit to The Hague so worthwhile.”