First France, then Thailand saw massive groups of tourists streaming in from China courtesy of a couple big spending bosses. Now, a total of 4,500 Chinese travelers have flooded the Netherlands on a five-day company vacation. The Chinese cosmetics company Perfect reportedly rented out 90 busses for the visitors to travel through the country, and Dutch media have (very excitedly) reported that it’s the biggest group of Chinese tourists to visit yet.
Earlier this month, we saw a Chinese boss send 6,400 of his employees to Paris to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of their company. They spent four days in the French capital and stayed in 140 different hotels all over the city.
In Holland, the tourists didn’t just stay in hotels spread across Amsterdam. The group was so big (for Dutch standards), that the tourists were sprawled out across the country, sleeping in hotels in The Hague, Delft, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amsterdam.
Local media sites made a point to note that the tourists mostly dined at Chinese restaurants, and the Dutch Tourism Bureau (NBTC) commented that “They seem to enjoy Chinese food the most”. Judging from the picture above, they seem to like the strawberries too.
The Dutch ministry of economy has naturally had only good things to say about the throng of visitors and their pockets full ‘o’ renminbi. According to NBTC, the group is expected to boost the local economy by seven to eight million euros. Ka-ching!
“The 4,500 tourists will be spreading the word about Holland as a holiday destination by sharing their positive experiences, holiday pictures and souvenirs with their friends and family,” the ministry said. “It wil put Holland on the map as an attractive place to spend your vacation for other Chinese as well.”
Minister of economy Henk Kamp received the “leaders of the group’s delegation” at the Mauritshuis, a well known art museum in The Hague most famous for its Dutch Golden Age paintings. “It’s spectacular that a company would send so many people on an outing to our small nation,” Kamp gleefully told reporters.
The Chinese tourists visited Delft, the national park the Veluwe in the east of Holland and Roermond (the main attraction of which is a massive shopping outlet). On Saturday, the groups met at the congress centre in Utrecht, the center of Holland, where they joined a gala dinner and posed for a massive group picture, as the custom goes.
One Dutch reporter covering the giant group of guests went to see the tourists at the shopping outlet in Roermand, where some were spotted splurging on luxury kitchen utensils. One shop assistant, Marijke Boom, was noticeably flustered as she told cameras how she’d tried to work her way through a line that formed before her cash register.
“I’ve never seen this in my life” she says. “They spend between 500 and 1,000 euros per person!”
So what kind of items are Chinese tourists emptying their pockets for while traveling in the Netherlands? Tour guide and translator Sai Ying Lau, a native Dutch speaker, told the reporter that the Chinese tourists mainly bought knives and pans. Practical.
A total of 250,000 Chinese tourists visited Holland in 2014, according to the the Dutch Tourism Bureau, which expects that number to triple in the coming years. It’s estimated that the Chinese visitors will spend about 1,250 euro per person on their holiday.
Prepare for an onslaught of kitchenware, customs.
[Video and pictures via NOS.nl]
By Evelien van der Veer