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According to a survey conducted by the ‘Nederlands Bureau voor Toerisme & Congressen’ (the Dutch Board of Tourism & Conventions) late last year, foreign tourists are extremely positive about the Netherlands. They regard the country as easy going and welcoming, and find the Dutch people to be open, friendly, tolerant and hospitable. No wonder Dutch emigrants feel a little homesick from time to time!
In addition to being questioned on what they thought about the Netherlands and Dutch people in general, the foreign tourists were also asked which mental images the Netherlands naturally invoked. And it would appear that world famous Dutch icons such as tulips, windmills and cheese still remain intrinsically associated with the Netherlands.
The most positive aspects of the Netherlands cited by the foreign visitors who took part in the survey included Amsterdam, the large number of cyclists and the typical Dutch landscape. If negative viewpoints were expressed then it was in relation to drugs and prostitution, in addition to the poor quality and value for money offered by the Dutch hospitality industry. Yet, despite these flaws, many foreign tourists found the Netherlands to be both readily accessible and an ideal destination for a short break.
Regardless of what foreign tourists may think of the Netherlands, Dutch emigrants particularly miss the Dutch ‘gezelligheid’ (cosiness) and being together with friends and family. Fortunately, those that are not planning an imminent trip to Holland can still enjoy a taste from home by ordering their favourite Dutch products online and indulging in a little therapeutic nostalgia!
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?