Events and theme years generate urgency to visit a city or region - NBTC
Photo: © Wouter Jansen

Theme year

Events and theme years generate urgency to visit a city or region. Focusing on events and theme years that emphasize the DNA of a city or region strengthens the profile of an area.

Bundle events thematically

Create a theme year by bundling multiple events around a common theme at different locations in the Netherlands. For example, 2015 was all about Van Gogh, 2017 focused on From Mondrian to Dutch Design, and 2019 has been about Rembrandt & the Dutch Golden Age. We use this method to encourage the spread of visitors throughout the country. Theme years also stimulate the development of propositions for the longer term.

Social importance

Theme years which we develop within the framework of Perspective 2030 are also socially relevant. The ‘Ode to the Dutch Landscape’ theme year in 2021, for example, will not be only about the beauty of our landscape, it will also focus attention on landscape issues such as poor soil quality and lack of biodiversity.

Collaboration within theme years

Together with involved partners, we look at the reasons for organising a theme year. We then establish the necessary collaborations and get to work. We help with developing supply and coordinate the international marketing. Because of the commercial opportunities surrounding theme years, we think that it’s very important to inform possible collaboration partners about planned themes at an early stage. The following themes will be central in the coming years:

2020: 75 Years of Freedom / Europe Remembers

In 2020 we celebrate 75 years of freedom. This theme programme will be presented in the Netherlands under the name Europe Remembers. The theme year bundles many activities for various target groups in 2019 and in 2020. Freedom is the common theme, in which the past, present and future all have place. We work with the Liberation Route Europe Foundation for activities in foreign markets.

2021: Ode to the Dutch Landscape

In 2021 we’ll pay tribute to the Dutch landscape. Our landscape’s diversity is overwhelming and has been an inspiration for artists for centuries. We will show this in 2021 on the 600th anniversary of the St. Elizabeth’s flood, when a large part of Zeeland and South Holland flooded. During this theme year, we’ll focus on the beauty and the vulnerability of our landscape. We will do this together with museums, architects, designers and, of course, the landscape organisations.

2022: Growing Green Cities

The seventh edition of the Floriade will take place in Almere in 2022. The world horticultural exhibition shows how knowledge, products and technology from horticulture contribute to solutions for urgent global issues related to making urban areas more sustainable, such as food, energy, water and health. This theme will have a role in many locations in the Netherlands, with Floriade 2022 as the beating heart of the innovative, green initiatives.


The distances within the Netherlands are small. You could compare our country to a metropolis with various regions and districts, each with its own distinctive character. We want to make visitors aware of this so that they visit multiple cities and regions in the Netherlands.

Strand van Westkapelle


The HollandCity strategy plays on the compact nature of the Netherlands. Traversing the strategy like imaginary tramlines are the storylines, which link places based on a theme or interest. The storylines also help international visitors discover lesser-known places.