kRegional significance

Airports have a significant economic impact on their surrounding regions. A survey of 500 EU companies found that 42% of businesses consider international transport links to be an important factor when choosing a location for their operations in Europe. Airports also generate employment. For example, Schiphol is home to about 500 companies, which, together with our own activities, currently employ approximately 67,000 people. Schiphol's overall employment contribution - including direct, indirect, induced and catalytic roles - is estimated to be about 300,000 jobs, though these figures vary per study. 

Air travel is particularly important to the economy of the Netherlands, which, being the world's fifth-largest exporter, relies on having excellent air connectivity with its trade partners. Indeed, over one-third of Dutch GDP depends on foreign markets, much of this generated through business services, a category which depends heavily on international face-to-face contacts.

Economic significance applies to both hub and regional airports. The connectivity provided via Schiphol and the airports in our Group offer clear benefits to the businesses located in the Randstad and the Netherlands; our airports are important reasons why numerous multinationals, NGOs and institutions choose this part of the world to base their headquarters or distribution centres. A quick-scan social cost-benefit analysis performed by economic research and consulting company, Decisio, estimates that further development of the Dutch air transport sector would contribute an additional 4% to GDP.

Tourism and conference hosting

Tourism and conference hosting make an important contribution to the Dutch economy. The number of inbound tourists to the Netherlands increased by 7% in 2018, to reach 19.1 million. The Netherlands Office for Tourism & Conferences (NBTC) expects tourist inflows to continue rising in 2019 in line with persisting economic growth in key markets, and projects the number of foreign tourists in the Netherlands to grow by at least 50% between now and 2030. However, capacity constraints at Schiphol, combined with perceived tourism pressure on Amsterdam and the rising cost of hotel accommodation, may see growth soften in the short term.

The excellent connectivity of the Netherlands also makes it a popular destination for conferences and exhibitions. According to the latest data of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the Netherlands ranks tenth globally for the number of international association meetings and is number six for this metric in Europe.


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