In the first three months of this year, Dutch consumers spent 2.8 billion euros on holidays. That is 15 percent or 500 million euros less than in the same period a year earlier, reports the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Friday.

The decrease is entirely due to the decrease in the number of holidays in the month of March. In this month, holiday spending halved to 600 million euros, compared to 1.2 billion euros in March 2019, according to Statistics Netherlands.

In January and February, even more was spent on holidays. In mid-March it became clear that the coronavirus had spread to Europe. In March, 1.7 million Dutch people went on holiday less than in March last year, which is more than half. "The decrease applies to both holidays abroad and in the Netherlands."

Over the first three months of the year, 18 percent fewer people went on vacation. Whereas in January it was more than 8.5 percent more holidaymakers and 2.3 percent in February, that growth was more than wiped out in March. "On March 31, 45 thousand Dutch people went on holiday, more than 90 percent less than on the same day in 2019."