The people of Friesland are content with the influx of tourists into their region, but concerns are rising over the increasing pressure it imposes, a new report by Planbureau Fryslân has found. The report, based on a survey of over 7,000 Frieslanders, sheds light on the impact of tourism on the province, emphasizing both the positive and negative aspects.
Last year, Friesland welcomed a staggering two million tourists, marking a significant 32% increase compared to eleven years ago. An overwhelming 60% of respondents believe that a good balance has been struck in terms of the number of vacationers visiting the province. They appreciate the economic and cultural benefits that come with tourism.
The report also highlights the escalating strain on the region attributed to tourism. While the paper does not delve into precise particulars regarding this strain, it is likely to include issues such as overcrowding, traffic congestion, and environmental damage. The authors advocate for a thorough assessment of the impact of tourism to effectively tackle these potential challenges.
The report’s findings align with a broader trend in nature-oriented tourism. The data highlights a substantial increase in overnight stays related to nature tourism, with over 90 million such stays recorded in 2018, signifying a 30% surge since 2013. Coastal regions, particularly in North Holland and Zeeland, and wooded areas like Gelderland, have seen the most significant share of these stays.
The report emphasizes the importance of adopting a thoughtful and sustainable approach to manage the surge in tourism and address the associated challenges.