Vakantiebeurs 2013 Update

Photo by Anneli Bronkhorst

By Marisah Smith

The Vakantiebeurs that takes place every January in Utrecht, the Netherlands, is considered one of the most important tourism consumer events for Cape Town.

The Netherlands is one of Cape Town’s top four international source markets in terms of the volume of international travellers received, one of the top four in terms of spend in destination, and boasts a high repeater rate to South Africa.

Cape Town Tourism’s foreign trade representative, Anneli Bronkhorst of WW Tourism, reported from Utrecht on the 2013 event that took place from Tuesday, 8 January 2013 until Sunday, 13 January 2013:

With more than 1 400 exhibitors and more than 100 000 exhibition attendees, the 2013 event was slightly more muted than in previous years (126 000 attendees were reported in 2012), but the Dutch proved themselves to be determined travellers who are making holiday plans despite the economic climate.

Research conducted by exhibition organiser VNU Exhibitions Europe showed that visitors this year were most interested in information on long-haul destinations, followed by Europe and the Netherlands. The main reason cited for visiting Vakantiebeurs was to obtain information about the next holiday destination, to select a destination, and to obtain more information on a holiday already booked. One in 10 visitors came to the Vakantiebeurs to actually book their next holiday.

Holidaymakers anticipate spending €3 400 per person on holidays this year; active and city breaks remain the most popular types of holiday, and hotels remain the preferred accommodation type by far. More than three-quarters of fair visitors indicated that they are prepared to pay more for a holiday organised with sustainability in mind.

NBTC-NIPO Research released their most recent report on the trade day of the Vakantiebeurs, predicting a small decrease in international travel by the Dutch in 2013, while domestic tourism is expected to remain the same as the previous year.

In 2012, the Dutch took 18.6-million international holidays and NBTC-NIPO predicted the decline in 2013 would be between 1% and 3% on the previous year’s figures. This means that the Dutch are anticipated to undertake between 18- and 18.4-million international holidays this year.

The market will continue employing cost-saving strategies to enable them to still go on holiday, which means that they may reduce the number of holidays that they take each year, holiday closer to home or stay for a shorter period of time. Value remains key and tourism product owners should expect the Dutch traveller to shop around for the best possible deal for their holiday.

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