With exhibitions and events during the national theme year “Mondriaan to Dutch Design”, the province of Brabant attracted 78,000 extra visitors from the Netherlands and abroad. Together they spent 15,4 million euro in the region. This is evidenced by a national survey by NBTC Holland Marketing.

According to Heleen Huisjes, director of VisitBrabant, the number of visitors and revenues in Brabant may be even higher. The research was carried out in Brabant at Het Noordbrabants Museum, Van Abbemuseum, TextielMuseum, Museum Helmond and Dutch Design Week. “For the research, however, no measurements were made at activities at De Ploeg in Bergeijk, Brabant workshops such as [email protected] or Social Label and at events such as Graphic Matters in Breda”, says Huisjes.

Brabant Design
The year saw the Netherlands generate a total of 110 million euro in additional income. The Brabant region ranks second in visits and spending. Almost a quarter of all visitors to the exhibitions and events about 100 years De Stijl and Dutch Design came from abroad.

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    According to Bert Pauli, Deputy Economy and Internationalisation, the results are in line with the leisure sector in Brabant, which is constantly developing and employing more people. “By collaborating and renewing the range of products on offer, coupled with a theme such as Dutch Design, the sector has attracted more visitors who spend more. Museums, workshops, and events such as Dutch Design Week can also make Brabant even more attractive for tourists and day-trippers in the years ahead, based on these experiences. Culture is then an important engine for the economy.”

    Mayor Callewaert van Bergeijk acknowledges that the economic impact is likely to be even greater. “Last year we welcomed 20,000 tourists to Bergeijk from close up and far away. The year was not only a good year to focus on Bergeijk as Rietveld village, we also succeeded in strengthening cooperation between local parties. All of Bergeijk is proud of Rietveld and De Ploeg.”

    The research carried out at Dutch Design Week also showed that the theme year yielded some 20,000 visitors with a combined economic value of 4.7 million euros. Heleen Huisjes concludes that collective approach to thematic programmes provides an enormous boost for the regional economy. “Collaboration on Design but also a theme such as Van Gogh is not only good for the internationalization of our offer but above all for the profitability of hotels, restaurants, and shops.”

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.