The Netherlands is captivating “new year, new you” to another level in 2020. The European country is abandoning its nickname – Holland – in favor of its proper name in all future transactions.
As the Sydney Morning Herald reported in late December, the change – a new brand image of € 200,000 ($ 319,000) that includes a new logo and forces businesses, universities, departments and embassies to refer in the Netherlands by its official title from now on – is part of a larger initiative aimed at rebuilding the international image of the country and sustainably managing the influx of annual visitors to its coasts.
Although Holland only refers to two provinces, North Holland and South Holland, the newspaper reports that the nickname was chosen a quarter of a century ago for promotional purposes.
The brand change marks the end of a year of change aimed at addressing the concerns of the Dutch nation in terms of over-tourism. In March, it was announced that visits to Amsterdam’s red light district would be banned in 2020, and plans to make the city even more bike and pedestrian friendly were revealed in the spring and fall. In May the tourist office reportedly said it would stop actively promoting the country due to overcrowding, and in June an eccentric initiative “Marry an Amsterdammer for a day” was launched as a plus large “Untourist Movement”, designed to create a more livable city for residents and visitors.
And this month, the Amsterdam tourist tax has increased, making it one of the highest in Europe. Overnight hotel customers will now pay a flat rate of € 3 ($ 3.25) per person per night in addition to the rate of 7%, while Airbnb customers’ rent will be increased by 10% per night.
According to the Independent, the Dutch tourist office has presented its plan for the next decade saying: “To control the flow of visitors and take advantage of the opportunities that tourism brings, we must act now…. Instead of promoting the destination, now is the time to manage the destination. “