The Netherlands was hit hard by the global economic crisis and continues to struggle through recovery, although the market remains competitive in the Eurozone. According to Trading Economics, the Dutch gross domestic product is forecast to grow at a modest 0.5% and unemployment is expected to decline slightly to 6.15% by the end of 2016. These are both signs of a continued slow and steady recovery for the Netherlands.
According to Euromonitor International, the economic recovery has benefited travel. Online travel sales saw strong growth in 2014. Inbound and outbound trips showed strong growth while domestic trips declined as consumers reduced regional trips to travel abroad instead. The Euro continued its devaluation throughout 2015.
Awareness of Alberta as a travel destination is low in the Netherlands and it's important that we lead with Alberta icons such as the Canadian Rockies to spark interest in visiting first Canada and then Alberta.
Travel Alberta will continue marketing through our KLM partnership. We will also continue to support initiatives by the Canada Marketing Committee in the absence of Destination Canada in the Netherlands to ensure Alberta has a voice with an influential travel trade community.
We will continue to support the KLM non-stop flight from Amsterdam to Edmonton which launched in May 2015. Alberta's greatest advantage in The Netherlands is attributed to KLM's year-round, non-stop flights from Amsterdam to Edmonton and Amsterdam to Calgary. Alberta is also well serviced through connecting and charter flights such as Air Transat, codeshare agreements and Icelandair from Reykjavik to Edmonton.
Opportunity for growth
Optimize direct air access into Edmonton and Calgary for growth in visitation to each city and during Alberta's need periods.
- Continue to leverage the air access opportunity by partnering with KLM airlines
- Engage the digitally connected traveller through year-round marketing targeted with relevant content
- Work with travel trade to enhance product offerings for Alberta to grow visitation throughout the province
- Promote winter meetings for urban centres and resort areas