Dutch Government Rebrands Country 'The Netherlands' to Sever 'Holland' Link to Red Light District and Cannabis Cafes

Photo by Pixabay/PublicDomainPictures

by Brussels Correspondent and James Crisp, The Telegraph, October 4, 2019

The Dutch government will overhaul its international branding strategy, dropping the name “Holland” and replacing it with The Netherlands, the country’s real name. 

The rebrand is an effort to move away from undesirable associations with Amsterdam’s red light district and the country’s famous cannabis cafes and to encourage exports and tourism.

The government, the tourism industry and business groups have signed up to the public relations push, which will begin later this year. 

“It has been agreed that the Netherlands, the official name of our country, should preferably be used,” a spokeswoman for the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs said. 

The Netherlands, rather than Holland, will feature prominently on promotions for the Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Rotterdam next May. 

The national football team will only be referred to as The Netherlands as will the Dutch team at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. 

North and South Holland are regions of the Netherlands on the Western Coast. The region was ruled by the Counts of Holland from the 10th to the 16th century and later formed the most influential part of the Dutch Republic

The Netherlands, meaning the low countries, was created after Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo more than 200 years ago, but Holland has been used to describe it ever since. 

The foreign affairs spokeswoman said the rebrand would modernise the image of the Netherlands to present it as an “open, inventive and inclusive” country.

She said: “What is special is that agreement has now been reached with relevant parties from both the government, Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions and private organisations including top sectors and the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers about the image of the Netherlands that we want to present to the rest of the world in a substantive and unambiguous manner.”

Up to 42 million people are expected to visit the Netherlands every year by 2030, an increase from the 18 million visitors last year. 

The new approach, it is hoped, will encourage tourists to visit other areas of the country than just Amsterdam. 

In May, the Dutch tourist board said it was stopping active promotion of Amsterdam, amid concerns there were too many visitors to the city.


This article was written by Brussels Correspondent and James Crisp from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

Related Stories

Amsterdam Could Soon Charge the Highest Tourist Tax in Europe

KLM to Add Service to Austin in 2020

Stats: Van Gogh Museum Is the Most “Instagenic” Tourist Attraction

Hard Rock to Open New Hotel in Amsterdam

Suggested Articles:

The COVID-19 testing program allows eligible customers to be exempt from quarantine after a negative test result on arrival in the Netherlands.

The current commission payment model and the lack of travel due to the global pandemic has wrought an existential crisis on travel agencies.

Citing new Italian government restrictions for holiday travel, MSC Cruises has cancelled several Mediterranean cruises but will restart in January.