Dutch museums request more support as visitor numbers plunge

 Child looks down through glass floor tiles.

The Netherlands Museums Association urges the government to allocate additional emergency support and recovery plan to museums throughout 2022. Government support for sectors hit hard by the pandemic is due to finish at the end of October 2021. With record low visitor numbers and Covid-19 restrictions still in place, Dutch museums need continued support to survive.

In a press released issued on 13 September, the Netherlands Museums Association (Museumvereniging) states that it expects less than 10 million museum visitors in 2021, compared to 33 million in pre-pandemic 2019. Especially visits by international tourists dropped by 82%, from 10 million in 2019 to 1.8 million in 2020.

To compensate for the compulsory closures and limits on visitor numbers, Dutch museums are demanding that the government makes additional funding available for the final three months of 2021 and throughout 2022. The press release reads “Museums need more time to recuperate.” and “With extra support, museums can bridge the shortfall in visitor numbers and maintain quality. A national recovery fund is essential.”