The Netherlands may not attract as many Chinese tourists as its European more iconic neighbors, but it has recently stepped up its promotions in an attempt to bring more travelers interested in culture and history to its cities. At the end of last year, The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) launched a joint campaign with Belgium to promote a Eurail train route through the two countries with stops in cities renowned for art museums. The Hague, itself, has some 35 museums alone. And one key demographic they are hoping to attract: cultural tourism from China.
The Hague Marketing Bureau (THMB) posted an article on its official WeChat account on January 8th highlighting the activities and sights the city has to offer. They also announced its cooperation with China-based CITIC Tourism — the two will jointly create tourism products for the Chinese market. THMB said that they do not have information on the tourism products yet.
The cooperation with CITIC Tourism focuses on drawing in more Chinese families, with children, for cultural tours through the city. CITIC Tourism will assist in planning events in China for THMB, as well as offer city tours of The Hague through its platform.
For now, Chinese tourists can access useful information through the Netherlands’ WeChat mini-program, “Nextport Holland Travel (下一站荷兰旅游),” which is operated by digital marketing agency NextportChina. The NBTC reportedly plans to launch its own mini-program. There is also promotional material, including information on art museums, on the THMB’s Weibo account.
THMB Director Marco Esser said that the promotion is focused on offering families travel experiences filled with education, nature, and sports. He also said that the city has noticed an increase in family travel as well as educational travel. The focus on family travel in The Hague is an extension of the NBTC’s tourism campaign “Travel with Child, Holland First.”
With recent reports from Chinese travel agencies noting that more parents are taking their children abroad for educational trips that include museum visits. It’s no wonder The Hague is seeking to capitalize on the trend that has seen children become the deciding factor in travel destinations.
While The Hague is overshadowed by Amsterdam, it still manages to attract a portion of the Chinese tourists, particularly those looking to explore more of the country. The THMB also noted that the city has seen an increase in FITs (free independent travelers) from China. Data provided by the DMO said that Kurhaus Hotel saw a 126 percent increase in Chinese guests from 2016 to 2017.