CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Rembrandt Year a Resounding Success for Dutch Tourism

The bureau responsible for Rembrandt 400 has issued a press release on the numbers of visitors to the exhibitions it helped coordinate. The bureau calls it the most successful cultural enterprise ever held in the Netherlands.

Commemorative year a cultural and economic success:
Rembrandt 400 brings in 190 million euro extra

A recent study by TNS NIPO shows that visitors to the official Rembrandt 400 programme spent 623 million euros in 2006. One hundred ninety million of those euros consists of additional spending by foreign visitors who came to the Netherlands either solely or partly for Rembrandt 400. This amount is higher than the 100 million that the Rembrandt 400 Foundation had estimated beforehand. Mr J.M. Hessels, Chairman of the Foundation, explains: “With 2.1 million visitors, this was the most successful cultural event ever held in the Netherlands. The foundation’s goal was to attract 450,000 international visitors to the Dutch museums. The actual figure was 2½ times this number, i.e. more than 1.2 million people who, in addition, spent more time in the country. This demonstrates that high quality and a large number of visitors go together very well. This shows that a relatively modest investment can lead to a sizeable extra economic impetus, from which Dutch culture also profits.”

The highlights of the museum programme include the exhibitions Rembrandt’s mother, Rembrandt: the quest of a genius, Rembrandt-Caravaggio, Rembrandt & Uylenburgh and Rembrandt’s landscapes. The average rating for the official programme is 7.9.

International success

A total of around 1.7 million unique visitors made more than 2.1 million visits to exhibitions or events from the core programme. Of these visitors, 69% were from abroad, the majority of which – around 70% – were European. With 155,000 visitors, the French came in first, followed closely behind by the Germans (130,000), British (129,000) and Spanish (103,000). Internationally, it was primarily Americans who attended the event. With 215,000 visitors, they were the most important origin market for Rembrandt 400.

Foreign visitors spent an average of 511 euros per person on such things as food, drinks, shopping, admission tickets, excursions and hotel stays. This is considerably higher than the 350 euros estimated beforehand. One of the reasons for this is that foreign visitors often spent several days – an average of 4.1 nights – in the Netherlands.

The number of foreign tourists visiting the Netherlands in full or in part for reasons of the commemorative year is 400,000. Of all foreign visitors 16%, (190,000), indicated that they had come to the Netherlands especially for Rembrandt 400. The commemorative year therefor has contributed considerably to the significant growth in 2006 in incoming tourism to the Netherlands to 10.9 million tourists.

Successful marketing campaign

The basis for the success was an international collective marketing and promotional campaign, coordinated by the Foundation and carried out by the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions. This was made possible by the unique collaboration between the government, business community and tourism and cultural sector. This resulted in a wave of free publicity both in the Netherlands and abroad, valued at 19 million euros, which contributed to the high numbers of visitors.

Rembrandt 400 Foundation

The coordination of the programme and collective national and international promotion and communication on Rembrandt 400 in 2006 have been the responsibility of the Rembrandt 400 Foundation. The following are represented on the Foundation Board: Rijksmuseum, The Rembrandt House Museum, the municipality of Leiden and the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions.

The Foundation works together closely with the Amsterdam Tourism and Convention Board (ATCB), Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal in Leiden, the Jewish Historical Museum, the Biblical Museum, the Mauritshuis in the Hague, Stardust Theatre BV and others.

The activities of the Foundation have been made possible thanks to support from head sponsors TNT and Shell, sponsors Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Stibbe and contributions from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, municipalities of Amsterdam and Leiden, province of Zuid-Holland and Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions.

The patroness of the Rembrandt 400 commemorative year is Queen Beatrix.