And you’ll be paying top whack for any room you do find
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Bad luck for those looking for a quick weekend away in Friesland in the coming weeks- nearly every single hotel room in the Province is full. Those that are available are can only be booked at full price, and there is almost nothing bookable for more than a night or two. As reported by the Omrop Fryslân.
After August 15, Friesland is officially back to work (and school), meaning that tourists wishing to visit one of the Elfsteden or beach resorts will find it easer after that date. Floriaan Zwart from the VVV Friesland, it’s good news, but not enough to make up for lost revenue due to the Coronavirus shutdown.
Say you wanted to book a room for two people, for a week’s time, and to stay for a week. On all of the various well-known booking websites, the same message will be displayed: ‘fully booked’. A ring-around of the various hotels will bear no further fruit, with the Omrop Fryslân able to find only one hotel room on Vlieland available for a week. For some, such as the Hotel Iselmar in Lemmer, both their hotel rooms and chalets are fully booked until the end of the summer.
Naturally, this is good news for the tourism industry, however the hotels themselves would naturally prefer to take in more guests. In Makkum, the beach hotel Vigilante is only able to offer rooms for a few days maximum, such is demand. “People are staying in their own province”, says Annelies Douwstra of the Hotel Post-Plaza in Leeuwarden (which is also full). “There’s basically nothing available here in the coming weeks”.
The business can also be felt on Friesland’s roads and waterways. Floriaan Zwart from the VVV says: “it’s great that it’s busy. I think that’s easy to see. If you think back to the incredibly busy Pinkster weekend, this is comparable, but it’s manageable.”
It’s mostly Dutch people on holiday in Friesland, says Zwart, “you do also see Belgian and German people, but more are holidaying in their own country. There is also another type of tourist that we are seeing more of: families with older children. They can’t go on all-inclusive holidays to Turkey or Croatia, and so are going away with their parents.” The demand is for all types of tourist activity, too: “boat rental businesses are also busy, and the same with cafés and restaurants. People are spending their money.”
The uptick in demand is a real boost for the industry, but the losses of the last six months won’t be fixed easily, says Zwart. “It’s dependant on the type of business: if you were reliant on business travel then it’s not going as well. A number of camp sites are full anyway due to the bouwvak holiday- but it’s all now hanging off the late-summer season.”