Tourism in Rotterdam continues to rise


Rotterdam continues to be popular among tourists. With over 1.8 million hotel rooms booked, 2017 was a record year for Rotterdam. The number of hotel guests rose to over 1.1 million. A ten percent rise compared with 2016, according to provisional visitor figures. In 2017, Rotterdam did well as a cultural destination. Museums saw a twelve percent rise in the number of visitors compared with the previous year.

Last year, the museums were visited over 1.2 million times. The most popular museums were Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Kunsthal Rotterdam and Maritiem Museum Rotterdam. With 3.5 million visits, the tourist attractions were equally popular in 2017 as the year before. Blijdorp Zoo attracted the most visits, followed by the Euromast and Spido.

Rotterdam is most popular among visitors from the Netherlands, according to the figures. Of the number of hotel guests in 2017, 53% came from the Netherlands. The number of foreign visitors coming to Rotterdam rose by nine percent in 2017 compared with the previous year. Of the foreign hotel guests, most came from Germany (7%) and the United Kingdom (7%), followed by Belgium (6%).

Maarten Struijvenberg, the city councillor responsible for employment and economic affairs: “It’s good news that Rotterdam continues to attract visitors. The tourist sector provides a lot of employment and contributes to the city’s economy. Rotterdam has enough room to accommodate the growth in tourism. With the city’s continued popularity, also among entrepreneurs in the tourist sector, it’s important that we develop our policy in a way that ensures that the city remains attractive for everyone.”

Business tourism

Rotterdam is also growing as a business destination. Over half of the hotel guests came to the city for business, according to CBS statistics. The number of conferences coming to Rotterdam is also growing. In 2017, Rotterdam Partners was involved in attracting 31 conferences to the city, nine more than the year before. These conferences are expected to generate 21 million euros in investments for the Rotterdam economy. Business travellers tend to spend more money than recreational tourists and are thus an important target group for the city.

Jeroen Kuyper, director Rotterdam Partners: “In our city marketing, we are promoting tourism which reflects the character of the city. Besides business visitors, these obviously also include architecture, art and culture lovers. In addition, there’s a trend worldwide whereby tourists are taking more frequent holidays for shorter periods and are seeking a unique experience. A city like Rotterdam, which is relatively undiscovered and often praised internationally for its unique urban vibe, has a great deal to offer this group.”

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