Record number of Dutch tourists in Denmark last year

More Dutch tourists have also opened up their eyes to vacations in big cities like Copenhagen. Photo: Niels van Steijn.


In 2017 there was a record number of Dutch overnight stays in Denmark. Tourists from the Netherlands accounted for more than 1.3 million overnight stays. Dutch economic growth and the safety of Denmark are some of the reasons behind the record. VisitDenmark suggests that there is even more potential for Dutch tourism in Denmark. 

 By Niels van Steijn and Emma Severin

 More Dutch people are travelling to Denmark. New statistics from Statistics Denmark show that there has been an increase of 44 percent in the number of Dutch overnight stays over the past five years.

According to Mette Rodenhuis-Carlsen, interim director of the Dutch market in VisitDenmark, two of the reasons are the economic growth in the Netherlands and the threat of terrorism in the world. “There has been a dramatically drop in people going to Greece and Turkey which normally are popular destinations for the Dutch. The threat of terror in Europe makes them look for alternative destinations like Denmark,” says Rodenhuis-Carlsen.

Mette Rodenhuis-Carlsen further explains that the Dutch tourists thinks that Denmark is a safe country. She thinks that when families with children are travelling, the safety of a country is essential. “Many of the tourists coming to Denmark are families with children and to them it’s important to feel safe,” says Rodenhuis-Carlsen.

Looking for something missing in the Netherlands

Besides the fact that Denmark is a safe country Rodenhuis-Carlsen points out several other reasons why the Dutch like Denmark. She points to the fact that Denmark has some of the things they don’t have at home. “Denmark has everything the tourists from the Netherlands love. There is peace and quiet, beautiful nature and time to just be a family,” says Rodenhuis-Carlsen.

Head of Communications at VisitDenmark, Anders Rosbo agrees with Rodenhuis-Carlsen. He also says that the Danish tourist attractions make the Dutch chose Denmark as their holiday destination. “Our tourist attractions have developed a lot and the Dutch love that. Especially Legoland is very popular among the Dutch families,” says Rosbo.

Organizations in the Netherlands do recognize the increase in people going to Denmark. is a Dutch company which offers holiday houses in Denmark and mentions that the holiday in the spring is the most popular period for the Dutch: “A lot of people are travelling to Denmark in the ‘May holiday’ because the trips to Denmark are very cheap in that period. You could go to the islands in the north of the Netherlands in this period, but the costs are comparable with a trip to Denmark”, says Marlous Lub, head of marketing at

See the video to get an impression of the Dutch tourists like about Denmark. Video and editing: Emma Severin and Niels van Steijn.  

The future is bright

Mette Rodenhuis-Carlsen suggests that food and design are a bait for potential Dutch tourists coming to Denmark. Naomi de Clippeleir, a Dutch girl who wants to go to Copenhagen, confirms this: “I want to go to Copenhagen because of the Danish design and the number of good restaurants. Besides it’s a beautiful city and the people are very friendly I heard.”

According to Rodenhuis-Carlsen there are potential for many more Dutch overnight stays and therefore also more Dutch people coming to Denmark. She says that it is important to take in mind that ten years ago an average Dutch tourist stayed for more than 10 nights while they today stay for 6 nights. This means that more than twice as many have travelled to Denmark. “Our goal is to catch up with the Swedish tourists in Denmark that accounts for 1,8 million overnight stays, and if the development as it is now continuing, it is not impossible,” says Rodenhuis-Carlsen.

Graphic that shows the increase of Dutch tourists. Source: Danish Statistics.