Holland eyes leisure market

Sharing her views on the importance of the Indian market for The Netherlands, Carola Muller-Van Rijn, Global Travel Trade Manager, NBTC Holland Marketing, has said that the leisure market from India will be a key focus for the board as it maps out a plan for 2020.

TT Bureau

Elated at the successful conclusion of the second edition HollandCity Global Travel Trade Show in The Hague, Carola Muller-Van Rijn said that this year’s show was bigger and better than last year’s edition. “This year, we had a total of 90 buyers and 120 suppliers. From India, 11 buyers participated in the show organised by NBTC Holland Marketing. This shows that participation was certainly more than last year. The setup was also bigger than last year, since we had more space to plan and organise meetings,” she added.

In 2019, we are forecasting 200,000 visitors from India, a growth from the 178,000 arrivals in 2018; we will focus on leisure visitors

On participation from the trade, Rijn said that they had suppliers from all over The Netherlands, including Friesland, North Holland, and southern reaches of The Netherlands among others. “We had a very nice spread of Dutch suppliers present for the show. From the buyer perspective, we had buyers from 10 different markets and countries globally. These were Germany, Belgium, UK, Spain, US, Russia, Brazil, Japan, China, and India,” she added.

Growth from India market

While Germany is by far the biggest source market for the Netherlands followed by Belgium, tourist arrivals from India have also seen growth. “There was an eight per cent growth in the number of tourist arrivals from India in 2018 in comparison to 2017. In 2019, we are forecasting 200,000 visitors from India, a growth from the 178,000 arrivals in 2018,” she said. Indian tourist arrivals in The Netherlands registered a growth of 15 per cent in the first half of 2019. The number of Indians travelling to The Netherlands from January-June was 100,000 as compared to 85,000 during the same period last year. The total number of Indian arrivals last year to The Netherlands was 178,000. The growth from lndia has been significant in The Netherlands, especially in May and June.

Leisure and FITs from India

Commenting on NBTC’s plan for 2020 for the India market, Rijn said that they are still in the midst of planning strategies for all markets for the next year. NBTC Holland Marketing’s focus will be leisure and FITs, and they are not specifically targeting the wedding segment. For the India market, she said, “M!CE is a growth market from India. People are spending more money on international events, but at this stage, we will focus on leisure visitors in partnership with KLM.”

NBTC Holland Marketing will aim to promote destinations beyond Amsterdam to the Indian market. Rijn said, “To begin with, we have The Hague, Delft and cities like Leiden, which also happens to be the birthplace of one of the world’s most famous painters – Rembrandt. More into the region, we have Muiderslot, which is a 13th century moated castle located some 15 kilometres southeast of Amsterdam. It is one of the better-known castles in The Netherlands and has featured in many television shows set in the Middle Ages. Castles and country houses can be a great product for the wedding segment and also for leisure visitors.”

According to her, other cities of significance would be Utrecht, which has a medieval old town, canals, Christian monuments, and a venerable university; and ‘s-Hertogen- bosch, colloquially known as Den Bosch and Eindhoven, a technology & design hub and also the birthplace of Philips electronics. “These cities especially carry touristic significance since they are located in the south of the country and can be interesting products for Indians tourists looking to travel to Germany or Belgium from The Netherlands,” Rijn explained.

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