Government targets on the globetrotter
A strong show of cooperation in the public sphere last January at the annual Holiday Fair in Utrecht: various government organisations had stands, side-by-side, at the NL-Travel-Square. Their purpose: to give globetrotters detailed information on the dos & don’ts for far-away trips. Naturally, Customs NL was there as well.
'Travelling is fun, and even more pleasant when you have prepared properly!' Under that overarching motto, the various agencies strutted their stuff to the thousands of day visitors at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht – amongst the hundreds of colourful stands of travel agents and tourism offices. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed trade show visitors about visas, insurance and safety, and the Municipal Health Service highlighted the importance of vaccines and the risks of infectious diseases. As expected, Customs informed the many prospective holidaymakers of the rules regarding importing souvenirs and related articles. The emphasis was placed on the Customs travel app (‘Douane reizen’), the department's presence on the mytravelplanner.nl platform, and the Customs accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Via these channels, the globetrotter can look up and ask questions about what he or she can bring back to the Netherlands, at any given time and from any corner of the world.
The Holiday Fair is the oldest and largest travel event in the Netherlands. Interest in the trade show has declined with the arrival of the internet, but recent editions still lure roughly 110,000 visitors. This makes the happening interesting for the government, because various messages can reach a large and specific target group in a short span of time.