Water tourism

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Windjammer Parade at Kiel Week in Germany, the world's biggest regatta and sailing event and a major water tourism attraction

Water tourism is traveling by boat while on holiday, with the express purpose of seeing things meant for the water tourist. This can be traveling from luxury port to luxury port in a cruise ship, but also joining boat-centered events such as regattas or landing a small boat for lunch or other day recreation at specially prepared day boat-landings. Also known as a boating holiday, it is a form of tourism that is generally more popular in the summertime.

Water Tourism in the Netherlands[edit]

Rowing water tourists in Hillegom, the Netherlands in April when the tulip fields are in bloom.

Water travel used to be the only form of transportation between cities in the Netherlands. Since improvements in the road and rail structure, less and less commercial freight water traffic is using the water. In the latter half of the 20th century the growth of water tourism exceeded the amount of freight traffic, and older cities whose ports were long disused refurbished them for water tourists. Water tourists are a strong lobby for protecting old water routes from being closed or filled. Both refurnished antique canal boats (salonboot) and modern "rondvaartboots" are available for tourist day trips in most Dutch cities. A steady tourist industry has kept both the old canals of Amsterdam and their canal mansions open for water traffic. Their popularity has introduced water traffic safety laws to ensure that the commercial passenger boats have right-of-way over private skiffs and low yachts, while preventing fatal accidents.[1]

To reduce the less desired side-effects of popular watertourist spots, the public awards stimulate sustainable tourist innovations, such as the EDEN award for the electricity-propelled tourist boats in De Weerribben-Wieden National Park.[2]

Other countries[edit]


  1. ^ Pleziervaart in beeld report by the Ministry of Culture on watertourist safety
  2. ^ 2010 EDEN award