Holland operators say Dutch tourism is booming

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NEW YORK -- Tour operators to Holland said they have rolled out a number of new programs this year in response to increased demand for the destination. According to KLM/Northwest Airlines WorldVacations, Holland is outselling all other European destinations this winter.

"We attribute this to the fact that Holland offers good value for the dollar and to the fact that customers know they can see a lot of the country in a relatively short amount of time," said a spokeswoman for the Minneapolis-based firm.

A hot seller this winter is a new four-night package that includes a choice of 18 Amsterdam hotels and roundtrip air on Northwest fro.m Newark, N.J., or Detroit.

The package, in effect from April 1 to June 16, includes two hotels previously not offered by the company: the Doelen Hotel and the Schiller Hotel Amsterdam.

Stays at the Doelen start at $218 per person for two nights ($109 for each additional night) and include 2,000 WorldVacations WorldPerks bonus miles, daily breakfast and discount coupons for Amsterdam attractions. Rates at the Schiller are identical to those at the Doelen.

A Rembrandt exhibit in the Hague in September and quick-getaway vacations promise to be top sellers to Holland for Atlanta-based International Marketing and Travel Concepts, a company spokeswoman said.

IMTC is marketing Holland Eurodeal packages starting at $599 per person, double, for three nights in Amsterdam or the Hague. The rates are in effect from April 1 to Oct. 31. For the price, clients get roundtrip air on Martinair from Newark, N.J.; Miami and Orlando, Fla., and Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif. The package also includes daily breakfast, service charges and hotel taxes.

In Amsterdam, hotels include the Hotel Piet Hein, Eden Hotel, Park Hotel or Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre. Hotels in the Hague include the Carlton Beach, Carlton Ambassador, Steigenberger Kurhaus and Crowne Plaza Den Haag Promenade.

Also new is a combination Amsterdam-Paris package dubbed CTSmart that includes three nights in each capital and is operated in conjunction with Michigan-based Cosmopolitan Travel.

The package includes roundtrip air fare from 54 U.S. cities and costs from $799 per person, double, through March 31. Clients can choose to spend all six nights in one city. The price includes daily breakfast, service charges and taxes.

IMTC also is marketing a six-night package in conjunction with the "Rembrandt by Himself" exhibition of self-portraits, scheduled from Sept. 25 to Jan. 5 at the Mauritshuis Museum in the Hague. Rates start at $1,939 per person, double, for six nights at the Grand Amsterdam hotel with breakfast, motorcoach transportation and admission to the exhibition.

Tuchman Meditours in Miami put together a program that visits places of religious significance in Holland for the Dutch Reformed movement. Offered year-round, the group tour includes roundtrip air fare on Martinair from Miami, Orlando and Tampa, Fla., and Newark, N.J.

The price of a program from Newark with a minimum of 30 people traveling May 18 to 26 is $1,999 per person, double, including breakfasts and motorcoach transportation. The trip includes visits to several important churches; full-day excursions to Haarlem, Leiden and Delfshaven; a walking tour of Bruges, Belgium; museum tours, and a visit to the Dutch Reformed University in Kampen, among other things.

KLM/Northwest Airlines WorldVacations: (800) 727-1111.

International Marketing and Travel Concepts: (800) 790-4682

Tuchman Meditours: (800) 772-1010

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