Leisure sector in Brabant grows twice as fast as expected

Investment in the Brabant leisure sector is paying off

The leisure sector in Brabant has grown significantly since 2013. So significantly in fact, that the goal they put in place for 2020 had already been reached by 2017. This means that the leisure sector in Brabant is growing at twice the expected rate. Evidence for this growth comes from the NHTV International Higher Education University of Applied Sciences in Breda, on the basis of sources from NBTC-NIPO Research.

In its leisure policy, the Province of North Brabant aimed to actively stimulate the leisure sector in order to significantly increase spending and jobs in the sector in Brabant.   When formulating the goal for 2020, anticipated economic growth was already taken into account. However, the growth in the leisure sector in Brabant since 2013 has been much stronger: a 25% increase in spending has already been achieved. The number of jobs in the whole sector has grown by 22% already, and in the subsector culture, recreation and sport, it's grown by 46%.

Bert Pauli, Deputy for Economics and Internationalisation: "In 2013, Brabant had a lot of catching up to do, in comparison to the rest of the Netherlands. However, in the last two years, the leisure sector in Brabant has grown faster than it has in the rest of the Netherlands on a number of levels. This shows that the approach we've used in Brabant works, and we are now taking advantage of the opportunities. And we've not even reached the limit of what we can do!"

More visitors, higher spending, and more jobs
With the start of VisitBrabant in late 2014, we have consistently and intensively focused on attracting foreign visitors. The thematic programming (Van Gogh in 2015, Hieronymus Bosch in 2016) has visibly increased the number of foreign visitors with a higher spending level. The number of hotel stays has risen sharply, and the Van Gogh theme also helped stimulate related visits in the following years. With the Design theme of 2017, Brabant has again positioned itself as an attractive destination for a higher spending target group.

Brabant has a particularly good position in the Belgian market: with more than 1 million overnight stays from Belgians in 2016, Brabant came 2nd in the whole of the Netherlands, with a market share of 19%. And the increase continues: for the total international market, we saw a growth of 12% in foreign visitors for the first five months of 2017, in comparison to the same period in 2016. The number of short breaks to Brabant, as well as the number of family holidays to Brabant has also increased. This growth has not lead to the disruption of mass tourism, since Brabant is committed to the quality and distribution of its selection.

Heleen Huisjes, director VisitBrabant: "We're proud of this result. A qualitative and distinctive selection in Brabant will remain our focus. Brabant has a relatively small selection, and has to invest in innovations to keep up. In order to achieve that, we have to continue working together: province with the municipalities, cultural institutions, knowledge centres and entrepreneurs both large and small."


Note for the editorial team, not for publication:
For more information about this message, please contact Tamara Ernst at tamaraernst@visitbrabant.com, tel +31 (0) 6-24 36-09-29. You will find the full report 'Single Analysis Monitor Leisure Economy Policy and Marketing Knowledge - State of play 2017' by Dynamic Concepts Consultancy here.

About VisitBrabant
VisitBrabant is the destination marketing organisation of Brabant. Together with the leisure sector, government and umbrella organisations, VisitBrabant puts the province of Brabant firmly on the map as Europe's most welcoming and innovative region. So that more people will visit Brabant, will stay longer, and spend more. VisitBrabant is facilitated by the Province of North Brabant to stimulate the leisure economy.