From January 2020, the country located north of Belgium and west of Germany will cease to use the name of Holland and will only be called the Netherlands, the official designation of the country, to promote tourism or for international sports competitions .
The decision, taken by the Government, the Tourism Board and the employers, seeks among other things to change the international image of the country, the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported.
The authorities consider that the Holland brand is too associated with the sordid red light district – the red-light district of prostitution – in Amsterdam or the marijuana pipes.
The rebranding will not come cheap: it will cost about 200,000 euros to the public coffers. A new international logo has been designed to combine two symbols, “NL” (the abbreviation for the Netherlands in English) and a stylized orange tulip, followed by the term Netherlands, name of the kingdom in English. The Netherlands, in Dutch Neder-landen, means lowlands, alluding to what part of the territory is below sea level.
Ministries, embassies, universities, colleges, municipalities and organizations that officially collaborate on a project with the Government must use the new logo.
Although in the international sphere the Netherlands is better known as Holland, in reality this is the name of only two of its 12 provinces: North Holland, which includes Amsterdam and Haarlem, and South Holland, where there are the cities of The Hague, Rotterdam and Leiden. Both are located on the west coast.
“It is a little strange that only a small part of the Netherlands is being promoted abroad,” a Foreign spokesman told Efe.
25 years ago the tourism industry decided to promote the country as Holland, and that is why the official tourism website used the address Holland.com, which will change from now on. Also the national soccer team, traditionally known as Holland, will be called Netherlands in all official documentation, as can be seen in the Olympic Games that will be played next summer in Tokyo.
And in the Eurovision contest, held in May in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, the points will be for the Netherlands and not for the Netherlands.
The change of image also has behind a whole renewal of tourism strategy to end the massive, cheap and air tourism that goes, especially, to Amsterdam. The Tourism Board estimates that the number of international visitors will have reached 30 million people in 2030, a substantial increase over the 18 million tourists received in 2018.