BeNe: The Netherlands & Belgium

BeNe: The Netherlands & Belgium

Market Performance

Over 380.000 visitors from the BeNe region visited the Island of Ireland in 2019 (final figure to be confirmed).  In 2019 over 85% of all Dutch said they will go on holiday and 75% of those will take a holiday abroad so there is massive interest in travelling outside their own country.  With stable economies, Dutch and Belgium consumers are willing and able travellers and have proven both resilient in times of tourism downturns and tend to recover quickly in the economic upswing.  

Direct Air Access

Despite the Covid-19 situation, Ireland continues to enjoy good air connectivity with the Netherlands and Belgium, with good regional spread; KLM, Aer Lingus and Ryanair operate from Amsterdam airport to Dublin, Cork and Belfast. Pre-covid 19 Ryanair also had a daily flight from Eindhoven to Dublin. Aer Lingus and Ryanair have a service from Brussels to Dublin. Direct connectivity to several of our regional airports, Cork and Belfast (city & International via easyJet) allows our Dutch visitors the option of arriving directly into the Wild Atlantic Way as well as Dublin and Belfast.  

Why should you target this market?

  • The typical visitor from the Netherlands and Belgium is well-educated, progressively minded, a sophisticated traveller and are happy to speak in English. They are digitally savvy and know how to shop online for the best deals. 
  • They are mainly 45+ and likely to travel as a couple without children or with other adult friends.  
  • BeNe travellers have a higher than average tendency to travel in the shoulder or off-season period and over one in three BeNe holidaymakers are repeat visitors.  Exploring history and culture along with walking and hiking and being in the landscape, are the most popular activities for both Dutch and Belgian visitors. Enjoying excellent gourmet food is particularly of interest to our Belgian visitors whereas Dutch seek authentic experiences with people and love going ‘off the beaten track’ 
  • With affordable and easy access options, Ireland can be a short - or longer-holiday option for this group who, especially in the Dutch market, take multiple holidays during the year. 
  • Visitors from the Netherlands stay on average between 4-7 nights. Dutch and Belgian’s favour B&Bs and hotels and love exploring the island by car and take in as many regions as possible, particularly the south West and the West, as well as Dublin.  

How to work with this market

Tourism Ireland in BeNe continues to offer a range of industry opportunities to industry who wish to access the Dutch or Belgian market.  Our Trade Account Manager Eef Belckx can put you in front of key Dutch and Belgian buyers and our Publicity Team can ensure that key Dutch and Belgian media know what you have to offer the Dutch or Belgian holidaymaker. During the Covid-19 period, Consumer Marketing Team in Amsterdam continues to be  ‘always on’ with activity across multiple social media channels, showcasing Ireland in a way which touches the passion-points of BeNe holidaymakers (nature, outdoor, Living Culture) in order to keep Ireland top of mind. 

Upcoming Activity

Tourism Ireland’s BeNe team has a programme of activity planned Q3/4 for 2020, aimed at the travel trade and media alike.  
  • During Autumn/ winter, we will undertake three bespoke “sales missions” offering Industry virtual meetings to engage with selective Dutch and Belgian Tour Operators with the objective to inform and educate the operators on key topics.    
  • Tourism Ireland aims to inform and inspire Dutch and Belgian journalists (print, online, broadcast and social media) through inspirational newsletters and press releases. A key focus this autumn is around “Ireland Home of Halloween”.  Media will be able to engage with Halloween related Industry partners through a live webinar and will be receiving a bespoke Halloween hamper.      
  • We continue to engage with our consumers, keeping Ireland top of mind through inspiring and relevant content and competitions on our Social Media Channels, using #fillyourheartwithIreland content created by Industry partners and #HeimweeNaarIerland (Facebook +207K likes, Instagram (+17.5k followers) and Twitter 3.5k followers). Stunning imagery of wide and open landscapes and scenic or funny videos (music, dance) tend to perform well.  We encourage you to join this global campaign 
  • We also send out a bi-weekly newsletter to our subscribers in the Netherlands and Belgium, using #FillYourHeartWithIreland content.  
Click here to view our BeNe market profile or here to view our 2020 marketing opportunities.

Market contact: Karen van der Horst