Cover The Netherlands' windmills (photo: Getty)

The government will no longer be called “Holland” to avoid confusion

The confusion between whether the country is called “the Netherlands” or “Holland” has officially ended. As of this month, the Dutch government will always be referred to as its legitimate title, the Netherlands, from this point forward. This will include companies, ministries, universities, and embassies around the world.

The difference between Holland and the Netherlands is considered to be quite unclear among foreigners; the two names are currently used interchangeably despite Holland only referring to two provinces within the country. The decision was made to rebrand the country’s international reputation and help redirect the overflow of tourists who go to the country to visit Amsterdam, in North Holland, but no other cities or provinces.

The international rebranding is reported to cost US$319,000 and will include the creation of a new country logo that features the “NL” initials with an orange tulip (the national flower), replacing a logo that touted the word “Holland.” The tourism board hopes this will better represent the country as a whole and provide clarity for travellers.

It’s estimated that annual tourism in the Netherlands will grow from 19 million travellers to over 29 million in the next decade, with over 42 million projected by 2030. With a population barely exceeding 17 million, the government has stepped in to ensure tourists will not be exclusively visiting Holland en masse.

“To control visitor flow and leverage the opportunities that tourism brings with it, we must act now,” the Board of Tourism said in a statement, according to Forbes. “Instead of destination promotion, it is now time for destination management.”

The Netherlands hopes this change will help promote more sustainable and respectful tourism by dispersing travellers toward less crowded corners of the country while attempting to preserve the natural and historical attractions in Holland.

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