As of Thursday, Holland has now become history. The country's physically still around, except the powers that be are stressing that it only be called The Netherlands going forward. An aggressive rebranding campaign that will have the nation's taxpayers on the hook for almost a quarter-million dollars is going all out to ensure the rest of the world gets the message.
Boosting tourism has been cited as the major reason for the marketing effort, given that The Netherlands will be hosting this year's Eurovision song competition. Politicians hope the solitary name will be more commonly known when it sends a healthy contingent of athletes to the world stage otherwise known as the 2020 Summer Olympics to be held this summer in Tokyo.
How the official name will affect tourism isn't made clear since vacationers using either moniker will still make it to the same country. But as tourism officials claim, the campaign is designed to focus more on attractions elsewhere in the nation besides Amsterdam, which gets almost all of the visitor traffic.
This year, more than 21 million tourists are predicted to visit The Netherlands, a number that is on stream to grow to 29 million by 2030. Officials hope a lot more of them will check out Rotterdam, the country's second-largest city and this year's Eurovision host.
Still, others anticipate that other Netherlands territories get considerably more crowds for its massive celebrations commemorating 75 years since the country was liberated from the Nazi regime during the Second World War.
Or at the very least, campaign aspirations wish to divert tourists from Amsterdam's Red Light District, where the government has already discontinued tours, given the increase in assaults and other bad behavior in the area.
Businesses, universities, and government departments have already been told not to use Holland as a name anymore except for two of its 12 territories, North Holland and South Holland. But at this writing, the government's tourism website still goes by the URL holland.com.