By Evie Carrick
May 10, 2019
Sebastiaan Kroes/Getty Images

With an area of just 16,412 square miles, the Netherlands is a small country — that's about half the size of the state of South Carolina. Yet somehow, the country managed to welcome 18 million global travelers in 2017, many of whom flocked to Amsterdam, the country’s fun-loving capital.

The Netherlands expects its number of tourists to increase by 50 percent by 2030, and the tourism board doesn’t necessarily see that increase as a good thing. Due to concerns of overcrowding and a loss of quality tourism, the tourism board reported in their Perspective 2030 vision document that they’re moving away from “destination promotion” and toward “destination management.” In other words, rather than actively promoting tourism, efforts will be focused on improving the country’s livability, raising sustainability objectives, and creating employment opportunities.

The report goes on to say that they hope to refocus on attracting what they call “quality tourists,” or visitors who add value when they travel and don’t cause trouble. On the flipside, the document states that they will “stop actively attracting groups of visitors who are a nuisance or do not add sufficient value.”

The tourist board also hopes to entice tourists to see less-visited parts of the Netherlands, as popular destinations like the Keukenhof bulb garden, the Kinderdijk windmill districts, and Amsterdam have taken the brunt of the side effects of mass tourism.

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