The Netherlands ditch its “Holland” nickname in efforts to update its international image and to promote sustainable travel

The Dutch government has called time on the country’s “Holland” nickname. As of this month, the country will now officially be referred to by its formal name, the Netherlands, as part of a renewed tourism strategy to update the country’s international image, and to promote more sustainable and respectful travel.

Companies, embassies, ministries and universities will now only be able to refer to the state using its legitimate title.

In a €200,000 rebrand, promotional material now features a logo that combines the initials NL with an orange tulip, the Netherlands’ national flower. The Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions previously used the symbol of a tulip and the word Holland.

Holland is not the official name of the entire country and refers to two of the 12 provinces, North Holland, which includes Amsterdam and Haarlem, and South Holland, where The Hague, Rotterdam and Leiden are situated.

The tourism industry started promoting the nation using the nickname 25 years ago, but now wants to present the commerce, science and politics of the entire country.

As part of a renewed sustainable tourism strategy, the Netherlands aims to put an end to large numbers of visitors on cheap flights, particularly to Amsterdam, and to promote respectful travel.

Minister for Foreign Trade Sigrid Kaag said the new style would help show what the Netherlands has to offer visitors, whether they come to live, work or holiday.

World renowned as a flat place with tulip fields, windmills and waterways, the Netherlands has seen an increase in tourism in recent years especially to Amsterdam, where you can legally smoke cannabis in its coffeehouses.

The Netherlands expects to host 30 million international visitors in 2020. The country expects this will increase pressure on the quality of life and the environment, emphasising the importance of promoting sustainable development.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at

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