The Netherlands Is Asking the World Not to Call It “Holland” Anymore—Here’s Why

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
dennisvdw/iStock via Getty Images

If you avoided ever referring to the Netherlands as “Holland” because you weren’t quite sure if that was correct, keep doing what you’re doing. The country kicked off 2020 by officially striking the name from use.

Though Holland technically refers to only two of the Netherlands’ 12 provinces, North and South Holland, citizens have long accepted and even embraced it as another moniker for the entire country. But because those two provinces are home to popular destinations like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Leiden, and The Hague, unmanageable masses of tourists are clogging the region and inching the Netherlands towards an over-tourism crisis.

Terminating references to Holland is part of the Netherlands’ nationwide endeavor to remind prospective tourists that the country isn’t just Holland, and it has plenty of other appealing locales beyond the quaint canals and cat houseboats of Amsterdam. As part of the rebrand, Holland will be replaced with the Netherlands in all promotional and marketing materials, as well as at companies, embassies, government offices, and universities. The country’s official logo is changing, too—instead of Holland beside an orange tulip, it’ll be the word Netherlands to the right of the initials NL (which are designed to resemble a tulip).

It’s not the Netherlands’ first attempt to keep tourism in check. According to Forbes, the Board of Tourism stopped promoting Holland as a tourist destination last May, and they’re shutting down offices in Spain, Italy, and Japan to help curb the influx of visitors. Amsterdam, meanwhile, is planning to increase its tourist tax for the second time in two years.

This latest campaign coincides with an especially significant year for the Netherlands in terms of international exposure. Not only will the country compete in this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo, it’s also slated to host the Eurovision Song Contest and four soccer matches in the UEFA Euro tournament.

[h/t Forbes]

Dream Job Alert: Irish Island Is Hiring a Couple to Run Its Local Café

twstipp, iStock via Getty Images
twstipp, iStock via Getty Images

Resolving to spend more time unplugged isn't easy in 2020, but if you'd like to replace the gaming, binge-watching, and social media in your life with silence, nature, and solitude, consider moving to Ireland. As The Guardian reports, Great Blasket Island, off the country's west coast, has a job opening for two caretakers to manage a café and accommodations that are straight out of the 19th century.

The position comes with free food, lodging, and an undisclosed salary. Duties include maintaining three cottages and serving tea, coffee, and snacks to up to 21 guests. Such luxuries as Wi-Fi, hot showers, and electrical lighting are missing from the island. Instead, caretakers will depend on candles for light and stoves to boil water.

Great Blasket isn't completely off the grid. A small wind turbine there produces enough power to charge a smart phone, but with the spectacular views of the 1100-acre island and the Atlantic coast, you may not want to return to a life of nonstop scrolling.

Whether you apply for the job with a romantic partner or a close friend, it's important that the two caretakers get along well. Alice Hayes, the person behind the job listing, also stated that they should be friendly, talkative, and in good shape.

The gig starts on April 1 and runs through October 1 of this year. If you're interested in leaving the modern world behind for a few months, you can contact Alice Hayes for more information at info@greatblasketisland.net.

[h/t The Guardian]

A Cheese-Themed Hotel Room Is Popping Up in London

Cafe Rouge
Cafe Rouge

Winter is the perfect time to lock yourself indoors with a stockpile of cheese to keep you company. You could clear out your local cheese shop and do this at home, or, if you're the winner of a new contest hosted by Café Rouge, you can do it in luxury.

Between January 29 and February 6, the UK-based French bistro chain will put up nine winners and their guests in what it claims to be the world's first cheese-themed hotel. The Cheese Suite is designed to promote Café Rouge's cheese-heavy winter menu.

Concept art for cheese suite.
Cafe Rouge

The accommodations in Camden, London, have all the amenities of a typical hotel, plus plenty of special features for fromage fanatics. Upon arriving, guests will be greeted by cheese wallpaper, cheese bedding, and giant cheese art installations. Even the board games and toiletries in the suite are cheese-themed.

If the dairy-centric decor works up their appetite, guests can nibble on the cheese and crackers in the room or call the cheese hotline to get more substantial dishes delivered to their door. Items on the menu include halloumi frites, a camembert and raisin chutney baguette, and a beef bourguignon burger stuffed with raclette and comte cheeses.

Concept art for cheese suite.
Cafe Rouge

The on-demand cheese, as well as the suite itself, are complimentary. At the end of their free stay, guests will have the option to donate to Café Rouge’s charity partner, the Prince’s Trust, an organization dedicated to vulnerable young people.

To make your funky dreams come true, enter for the chance for you and a friend to win a one-night stay at the Cheese Suite through Café Rouge's website. The competition, open to UK and Channel Island residents only, closes on January 21. Here are some cheesy facts to brush up on in the meantime.

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