Dutch hospitality sector is booming

POSTED: 09/7/16 9:35 AM

AMSTERDAM – Dutch hotels, cafes and bars generated almost 5 percent more turnover over the past year, well above the rate of inflation, according to the latest CBS hospitality industry report. The cost of drinks in a café or bar rose by an average 1.6 percent but consumers also bought more than 2.5 percent more drinks than a year ago, boosting turnover 4.1 percent, the CBS said.

Despite the wet and chilly weather earlier in the summer, snack bars, fast food restaurants, meal delivery services and ice cream shops booked a 7 percent increase in sales. Hotels, restaurants and cafes generated 4 percent more turnover, the CBS said. The growth has been matched by a rise in jobs – there were 23,000 vacancies in the sector in the second quarter of the year – the highest number since 2008, the CBS said. In total, 500 new cafes, bars and snack bars opened their doors.

Earlier this week, research by the Dutch estate agents association NVM showed that cafes are an increasing presence in traditional shopping streets. The NVM looked at the situation in the country’s ten busiest retail centers and found empty shops are being taken over by cafes and lunch rooms at a fast pace. ‘In Groningen and Rotterdam but also in Arnhem there has been a clear shift,’ the organization said. In Amsterdam, city center residents are complaining about the way ice cream parlors and snack bars are dominating some shopping areas. Local broadcaster AT5 said in May that there are 49 shops selling waffles and ice cream in the city center.

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