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8 July 2015

World Heritage Kinderdijk is picking up steam!

Increasing numbers of people visit the windmills at Kinderdijk AND buy tickets as well.
Last year, we welcomed our 100,000th visitor  in June. This year, one month later, the 150,000th visitor passed our gates. A young Italian couple from Bologna were welcomed this afternoon by  director Johan Mellegers of Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation (Swek) and Mayor Dirk van der Borg of

Growth in visitor numbers

The number of paying visitors in Kinderdijk is rising. All this is a result of a new policy of the management foundation SWEK, aimed at selling tickets. The mill is accessible by public footpaths and cycle path, meaning Swek are missing a lot of revenue. Three years ago, the foundation was almost bankrupt despite attendance of 400,000 visitors. In 2013, only a quarter of them paid for a ticket. Now, the new policy provides revenue growth. These additional funds are used for maintenance of the windmills and to further improve the “tourism product”. If SWEK has its way, a new Visitor Center will emerge in the near future. The income from tourism is a means for Kinderdijk to preserve the World Heritage for future generations.

The growth in the number of visitors is also caused by greater numbers of tourists visiting the Netherlands. Moreover, Kinderdijk appears very attractive on the river cruise market. Almost half of the Kinderdijk tourists arrive by water.

“The people who come while enjoying a cruise have already booked entrance when they come here,” says Johan Mellegers, commercial director of the World Heritage Kinderdijk Foundation. “It is in our interest that we do not become dependent on a single provider.” Since June 1, the new Waterbus line sails to Kinderdijk from Rotterdam and Dordrecht . This new connection is direct and offers passengers a huge discount on the Kinderdijk entrance fee. This new opportunity has boosted SWEK ticket sales in the process. “People who come by water leave their cars at home. That is not only in our interest, but also that of the village of Kinderdijk and the local residents.”

Development of new entrance area

At the end of 2013 Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation has established a regional outlook document, in cooperation with numerous organizations and interest groups in the area. An important part of this outlook is improving the entrance area of Kinderdijk World Heritage. In 2017, we will need an all-new and  completely sustainable visitor centre. This will provide more visitors a better reception and information about the special nature and character of the Kinderdijk World Heritage site.

Nowhere in the world will you find so many windmills standing together as in Kinderdijk. The nineteen windmills combine with the pumping stations, basins, water trenches and sluices, to form an ancient water control system. The area is appreciated by its visitors for its authentic and typically Dutch character.

The author

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