Here's why you can't refer to the Netherlands as Holland anymore

Business Insider US
Holland, The Netherlands
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  • The Dutch government has officially decided to drop the moniker of Holland going forward, and will only refer to itself as the Netherlands.
  • The Netherlands actually consists of 12 provinces, two of which combined make up Holland, so referring to the Netherlands as a whole as Holland is just wrong.
  • This is all part of a rebrand as the country is trying to update its global image ahead of international events it is hosting in 2020, like the Eurovision Song Contest and the UEFA Euro 2020 soccer championship.
  • The rebrand hopes to manage Amsterdam's over-tourism, which has already been addressed by the country in the form of a ban on guided tours of the Red-Light District, as well as the removal of the famous "I amsterdam" sign.
  • The Dutch tourism board now plans to promote lesser-known parts of the country to spread tourists out across the Netherlands.
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If you've ever gotten confused between the terms the Netherlands, Holland, and Dutch, you're not alone.

The Dutch government is well aware of the bewilderment it causes tourists and on January 1 officially decided that going forward, it will be called only the Netherlands (its people are still Dutch, though).

This not only streamlines things; it actually makes them more accurate.

The Netherlands consists of 12 provinces, and two of these provinces combined - Noord- and Zuid-Holland (North and South Holland) - actually make up Holland, as explains. So, calling all of the Netherlands Holland is just plain wrong.

The Guardian describes this simplified moniker as a rebrand, and "part of an attempted update of its global image" set to be officially launched at the Eurovision Song Contest in May, which takes place in Rotterdam.

According to the Guardian, businesses, the tourist board, and the central government have all agreed to use the new terminology going forward, as well as a new logo: the letters "NL" shaped like an orange tulip, combining both the national flower and colour.

The rebrand hopes to manage Amsterdam's over-tourism, and to distance the Netherlands from its Red-Light District reputation. Amsterdam already banned guided tours of the famous area, which, according to the New York Times, saw more than 1,000 guided tours a week. This comes after the city removed its famous "I amsterdam" sign in December 2018 in a stand against mass tourism. The Dutch tourism board has vowed to focus on "destination management" rather than "destination promotion," and plans to promote lesser-known parts of the country to spread the many tourists out more.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry explained the rebrand by saying that "It is a little strange to promote only a small part of the Netherlands abroad, that is, only Holland."

The timing of this can be attributed to the fact that the Netherlands is gearing up to host a variety of high-profile international events in 2020.

According to Dutch News, the Netherlands expects 29 million tourists to visit by 2030 - a whopping 10 million more tourists than it saw in 2018, a number it was already struggling with. To put that into perspective, its total population is around 17 million people.

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