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9th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Germany will continue to be the most popular holiday destination in 2008, the ANWB predicts.

9 January 2008

AMSTERDAM – The inhabitants are friendly, prices reasonable, infrastructure good, nature romantic, and even their bread is better. Reasons enough to make Germany the most popular holiday destination once again in 2008.

At least that is the expectation of the motorists' association ANWB at the Holiday Fair that starts in Utrecht on Wednesday. The Dutch will book 2.8 million holidays to Germany this year, just as many as in 2007, the ANWB predicts. Last year France was surpassed for the first time as the favourite holiday destination of the Dutch. The Dutch are expected to book 2.6 million trips to France this year.

The figures include city trips and long weekends. Germany is especially popular among nature lovers (hikers, cyclists) and for short holidays. Many Dutch don't venture too far over the border, opting for destinations in the Sauerland for instance.

According to researcher Ad Schalekamp of the Ongoing Holiday Survey (CVO), which studies the holiday behaviour of the Dutch, Germany has an excellent reputation. The Dutch praise the good prices for high quality, sound infrastructure and friendly service. Negative sentiments from WWII no longer play a role, says Schalekamp.

As Germany's popularity grows, France's wanes. The country is struggling with a bad reputation for unfriendly inhabitants and poor service. French prices are also considered unreasonable by many, according to surveys.

France still makes the most money from Dutch holidaymakers however, since trips to France generally involve more overnight stays than trips to Germany.

The Dutch booked 29.9 million overnight stays in France last year, compared to 17.3 million in Germany. The number of overnight stays in France was down 13 percent from the previous year however, while the number of overnight stays in Germany rose 3.5 percent.

The Dutch will book 2.1 million holidays in Belgium this year, and 1.6 million holidays in Spain, the ANWB predicts. The travel organisation expects that a total of 35 million holidays will be booked, the same as last year. The ANWB does not expect growth in this number because of unfavourable purchasing power forecasts and more expensive flight tickets.

That is one of the reasons too why the number of holiday flights will remain stable at 9.5 million. The US continues to be in first place among overseas destinations. The cheap dollar and presidential elections are drawing more visitors. The Antilles and Canada are also profiting from the low dollar and are expected to come in second and third place, respectively, on the list of most popular overseas destinations.

The number of city trips in Europe will rise, the ANWB expects. Paris is traditionally the most popular, followed by London and Berlin. Berlin in particular is growing in popularity among the Dutch.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]

Subject: Dutch news

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