Traditional Dutch craft of making wooden shoes saved by tourist industry

Craft brought to near extinction

Dutch wooden shoes or Klompen Image: Jan dijkstra (wikimedia)

Tourism has risen sharply in the Netherlands, with the number of visitors rising from 11 million to 18 million in just 10 years. This number is expected to grow to 29 million in 2030. Despite a lot of anger and frustration, all these tourists also bring a positive effect: The new demand for typical Dutch souvenirs has single-handedly saved the craft of making wooden shoes, typical Dutch intangible heritage. Where the clogs have an image of the poor man’s shoes in their home country, tourist seem to have an insatisfiable interest for the footwear.

Read the full article (in Dutch) at NRC.

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