Cultural heritage in Zuid-Holland as tourist attraction

The Province of Zuid-Holland's rich cultural history has a lot of appeal where tourism and recreation are concerned. As such, it was no coincidence that the theme of the tenth edition of the Cultural Heritage Day Zuid-Holland on 6 October 2017 was ‘Cultural Heritage and Tourism'. Each year, millions of foreign guests visit our multifaceted province.

Rik Janssen, Regional Minister Cultural Heritage for the Province of Zuid-Holland: "The multifaceted combination of landscapes, cities, culture, nature and water make the Province of Zuid-Holland an attractive destination. By making smart combinations, we can interconnect all of these and make them even more attractive to tourists and visitors.

With my fellow regional ministers, I work in the field of green space, mobility and economy to achieve a good combination of tourism and cultural heritage. A good example is Kinderdijk. By enabling water transport to this top location,50,000 visitors per year now travel by water to the windmills of Kinderdijk. And that decreases the otherwise necessary car and bus traffic across the narrow dike. This way, we keep Kinderdijk liveable for both visitors and residents.

The Province believes that cultural heritage and archaeology should be experienced and do not belong to be boxed up. That is why our provincial archaeological depot has given the 7500 year old human skeleton Trijntje on long-term loan to the National Open Air Museum, for the Canon of Dutch History exposition.

Cultural heritage is highly suited to new purposes. In case of restoration and repurposing, we believe it is important that the properties become accessible to the public. That way, everyone can enjoy our beautiful cultural heritage. The development of cultural heritage locations also provides opportunities for tourism and the economy. Making money out of cultural heritage is allowed. It also increases the possibilities and opportunities to preserve cultural heritage.

With this cultural heritage day, we succeeded once more into uniting the people involved in our cultural heritage. Professionals and volunteers, all of those working on the Zuuid-Holland cultural heritage. A special word of thanks for all the volunteers. Without volunteers, this country, in particular where cultural heritage is concerned, will come to a grinding halt.

Restoration and repurposing

The Province wants to assist in the protection and use of our cultural heritage. Cultural heritage makes the surroundings more attractive. The Province, for instance, is active in the restoration and repurposing of our cultural heritage and other vacant buildings, as part of the Smart Use of Space programme. Vacancy is deterioration. The preservation of values, innovation and marketing play an important part in repurposing.

Cultural Heritage Lines

The cultural heritage tables linked to the 7 provincial cultural heritage lines make an effort to connect one single historical narrative to an area. A cultural heritage line is part of the landscape, for instance a river, a beach ridge or a canal along which various monuments are situated, that jointly tell one single historical narrative. "I am proud of the cultural heritage tables. They have worked hard to improve the quality. These are not tables of distributive justice, but with a focus on achieving their vision", says Rik Janssen.

Cultural heritage belongs to us all. By knowing more about the history, you learn to better understand the present and can shape the future, which is important for future generations.