Just over seven million foreign tourists came to the Netherlands last year.

A decrease of 65 percent compared to the year before, when there were more than 20 million.

The Netherlands Bureau for Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) reported this on Monday.

Due to the spread of the corona pandemic, expectations for this year are also not favorable.

"Despite the current circumstances, we see that people have an enormous need to go on holiday", says Jos Vranken, director of NBTC.

But people don't or hardly do books.

NBTC has developed three scenarios on the basis of which estimates are made about the number of tourists who will go on holiday in the Netherlands this year.

In the rosiest scenario, the figure is more than nine million international visitors.

Still less than half of what it was in 2019, before the corona crisis.

In that most favorable scenario outlined by the NBTC, it will be possible to travel from neighboring countries to the Netherlands from spring onwards.

Those neighboring countries traditionally represent most of the tourists from across the border.

In a 'middle scenario', NBTC foresees that it will take until the summer before there will be slow travel again.

"In this scenario, the Netherlands can expect almost as many international guests as last year."

In the most unfavorable scenario, international travel is hardly an issue throughout 2021.

Then the number of foreign tourists would be another 40 percent lower than in 2020.

2021 will also be a tough year for tourism

If less travel is possible, this could lead to more Dutch people going on holiday in their own country.

Last year, nineteen million people did so, a quarter less than the year before, when there was no corona crisis.

"We keep a close eye on developments and update the scenarios based on the applicable travel restrictions. One thing is for sure, 2021 will also be a tough year for many in the sector," said the NBTC director.