Findings Visitor Pressure project in Dutch cities

Now, that the year when Leeuwarden holds the title of Cultural Capital of Europe has started, public attention shifts to the capital of Friesland. The city of Leeuwarden and the region in general are expected to experience increased visitation due to the numerous programs and events organised during the upcoming months.

Visitor pressure research in Leeuwarden and Groningen

Students of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences have conducted a research concerning the perception of local residents about tourism in the cities of Leeuwarden and Groningen. The aim of the research was to identify positive and negative encounters residents have with tourism development and to gain insights into views on further tourism developments.

Perceptions about tourism development among residents

It became clear that neither of the two cities has a need for dealing with the problem of visitor pressure at the moment. According to the results, residents were mostly neutral about the different impacts tourism has on their economic, social and spatial environment on both community and personal levels. Furthermore, most of the residents would be happy to be more involved in tourism decision making processes.

Follow-up study

As residents have not experienced serious annoyances in their city so far they are rather in favour of further developments. As a follow-up, the same study is planned to be carried out when more activities by Leeuwarden Cultural Capital have been organised. Then we can see whether the opinion and perception of local residents changed concerning tourism in their city due to more intense visitation and more frequent encounters with visitors.

This research was conducted by Demi Datema, Marc Drijver, Ellen Kortekaas, Rianne Holwerda and Karlijn Hadderingh under the supervision of our destination management expert, Bernadett Papp.