Holidays are more popular, expensive this year

As people in the Netherlands receive their holiday allowance and start to book summer trips, they may find that vacations are pricier than they were before the coronavirus pandemic. Rental cars, hotels and airline tickets have all become more expensive, according to the NOS.

Taking a holiday could be a few hundred euros more expensive now than it was pre-pandemic. Gerarda Westerhuis, leisure sector economist at ABN AMRO, told the NOS that there was more than one reason for the price increase.

“One of these is that there is catch-up demand,” Westerhuis said. “Entrepreneurs adjust the price of the supply accordingly.” Inflation and staff shortages in many sectors also play a part. 

Still, people are even more eager to go on holiday this year than they were last year. Over 80 percent of Dutch people said they want to take a vacation this year, as opposed to 70 percent in 2021. The Dutch Tourism & Conventions Bureau (NBTC) found that international destinations are more popular, too.

“People want to go on holiday,” Westerhuis told the NOS. “Just look at the crowds at the airport during the May holidays.”

Even within the country, traveling isn’t cheap. Booking a room at one hotel in Zeeland has become 10 to 20 euros more expensive, due to inflation, wage increases and staff shortages. “In the end we have to pass on the prices to the guests,” hotel owner Michel Kloeg told the NOS. “We cannot bear the combination of inflation, the staff shortage and wage increases indefinitely.”

In addition, many rental car companies sold part of their fleet during the coronavirus pandemic, when the demand for rental cars plummeted. Now, travelers can expect to pay three times as much to rent a car in popular holiday destinations, estimated Thomas Wolters of the car rental company Enterprise.

Airplane tickets will also become more expensive as the demand for flights goes up during the summer. Budget airlines are not as cheap as they once were, either, because of rising fuel prices and aviation tax. Staying close to home, for example on a camping trip, is the best way to avoid these price increases, according to the NOS.

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