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‘Uitwaaien’? Opportunities for coastal tourism in cold water destinations

18 January 2022 | Blog

In recent years, terms like ‘hygge’ and ‘friluftsliv’ have gained popularity throughout the world. These concepts have been a part of Scandinavian culture for many years. Hygge, which is a Danish concept, is defined as a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of comfort or well-being. The Norwegian tradition ‘friluftsliv’ translates as open-air living. ‘Friluftsliv’ involves embracing nature and making outdoor time a part of daily life, no matter the weather. Early 2022, the Washington Post mentioned the Dutch ‘uitwaaien’ as the latest wintertrend. Can these concepts provide opportunities for coastal tourism in cold water destinations, especially during the pandemic?

The latest trend for 2022

‘Uitwaaien’ has been around for a very long time. The Dutch word literally translates as “out blowing” but is better understood as “to walk in the wind”. Typically, ‘uitwaaien’ is used as a noun and describes the undertaking of an outdoor physical activity in (very) windy conditions. As local wisdom goes, wind refreshes and recalibrates. The concept ‘uitwaaien’ has become even more popular during the pandemic. With various restrictions to contain the coronavirus not much is allowed aside from outdoor activities. On top of this, spending time outside can be very beneficial for both physical and mental health. Just like ‘hygge’ and ‘friluftsliv’, ‘uitwaaien’ can be a very fitting tactic and a great opportunity for coping with our pandemic lives.

Uitwaaien & coastal tourism

Concepts like ‘uitwaaien’ can be of great value to both locals and visitors in a certain region or destination. Many cold water destinations welcome most visitors during the summer, but its winter themed concepts like these that can attract visitors during the colder months of the year as well. Concepts like ‘hygge’, ‘friluftsliv’, ‘uitwaaien’ and other relevant trends related to health and wellbeing can stimulate a more diverse cold water destination, appealing to different types of visitors all year round. For some of the locals, many of these terms and concepts may not be a secret. However, this does not mean all locals fully explore and enjoy their region during the winter months. Its new trends like ‘uitwaaien’, which are growing in popularity throughout the world, that motivate both locals and visitors to explore and enjoy (local) cold water destinations during the winter season. Similar trends and concepts, for example related to (seasonal) local food culture, can provide many opportunities for coastal tourism in cold water destinations, especially during the pandemic.

Trends and concepts like ‘uitwaaien’ are very relevant for the Skills4CMT project. Within the Erasmus+ Skills4CMT project, partners from Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Ireland and the Netherlands are developing a curriculum for coastal and maritime tourism. The project will make a fundamental change to sector-specific skills development and the quality and digitalization of thematic higher education in coastal and maritime tourism. It aligns higher education better to the needs and opportunities of the coastal and maritime tourism sector, since investing in people is a condition for its sustainable and competitive growth. The project stimulates regional economies and the creation and maintaining of jobs in coastal communities. Destination management, seasonality management and sustainability are all very important topics during the development of the curriculum.

HZ University of Applied Sciences


Weisstuch, L. (2022, 6 januari). Forget hygge, it’s time for uitwaaien. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2022/01/06/netherlands-lifestyle-trend-uitwaaien/

Photo: Denise Jans



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