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The Hague & Partners together with other tourism organisations writes letter of intent to Dutch Parliament

26 October 2021

The Hague - 26 October - Several Dutch tourism organisations, including The Hague & Partners, are sounding the alarm in The Hague. If the sector is to have a future after Corona, the Lower House must take action, they say. They are asking for a €1 billion fund to be set up and want the sector to come under the responsibility of a minister.

"National politics has ignored the tourism sector for too long," says Marco Esser, director of The Hague & Partners. "The sector deserves more attention in the economic policy of the coming cabinet with a Tourism Transformation Fund." 

In the proposal, the destination marketing organisations call for support in the recovery of the sector after corona and for a renewal of the Dutch visitor economy, accounting for over 4% of the Gross Domestic Product and 800,000 jobs in 2019. These include making holiday parks and tourist attractions more sustainable, revitalising accommodation to combat subversion and CO2-neutral transport options for visitors. The organisations are asking the State to set up a Tourism Transformation Fund of 1 billion euros, following the example of the United Kingdom, which is using billions to promote and renew tourism. The European Recovery Fund, which has almost EUR 6 billion available for the Netherlands, can be used for this purpose. 

The past eighteen months have shown how vulnerable the tourism sector is. Entrepreneurs and cultural institutions would like to continue, but there is no longer any margin. Their reserves are depleted and, at the same time, the perspective from national politics remains unclear. In addition, the world is changing. As a sector, we need to become much more sustainable and counteract the negative effects of tourism: these are not challenges on a municipal or provincial level alone, but rather nationwide issues that require a coordinating role from The Hague.

Administrator much needed

According to the fifteen initiators of the transition plan, from cities and regions throughout the Netherlands, tourism must be given a fully-fledged place in the economic policy of the coming Cabinet. It is essential that the sector be placed under the responsibility of a member of government, something for which the sector argued in an earlier letter to the then informer Herman Tjeenk Willink. Dijkema: ''The Hague does not seem to realise how important the tourism sector, with the size of the agricultural sector, is for the Netherlands. In economic terms, as well as in terms of employment, the level of facilities for residents and the pleasure that Dutch and foreign guests derive from it. If nothing is done, countless businesses and cultural institutions will go under, the range of tourism and thus the level of facilities for residents will be reduced and we will lose our position as a wonderful (domestic) holiday destination, which will put us in a downward spiral. We therefore call on the Cabinet and the Lower House to take their responsibility and to join us in drawing up the National Tourism Transition Plan.   

The plan is being presented on behalf of 15 DMOs, including The Hague & Partners.