Dutch theme park in Japan plans to add a casino to boost visitor numbers

When the Japanese city of Nagasaki wanted to honor their historic relationship with the Netherlands, they decided that a monument was just not going to be enough – so they built an entire Dutch city.

The Huis Ten Bosch theme park opened its gates in 1992 – and it has never turned a profit. Initially, the builders expected up to one million international visitors a year. Sadly, much to their surprise, international visitors preferred to visit the real country over a mock one.

In March, Japanese travel agency H.I.S. took over from the previous owners of Huis Ten Bosch, and hope to revive the park. Part of their plan is to add a casino and an outlet mall – because looking at old buildings was clearly not enough of a draw.

The first steps to raising visitor numbers were probably more effective than anything else – they slashed ticket prices and added more attractions.

Still, if you ask me, the best way to see The Netherlands is to actually visit The Netherlands.

(Photo from Flickr: Joone4u)