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The first evidence of tourism on the Dutch coast can be found in drawings and etchings from the end of the sixteenth century. In this period Holland developed into one of the most urbanized regions of Europe. The interest in landscape originated in the towns. The first scenes depicted are those of mass tourism on the beach: sensation-mongers drawn to the beach by whales, sailing cars and departing kings and queens. Somewhat later the dune landscape became a main recreational focus, in which the physical aspects of the landscape were also appreciated. Around the town of Haarlem, individuals and small groups of people started exploring the dune landscape. In the wake of this new interest, landscape painting developed as an artistic genre. It became the most popular genre in the first half of the seventeenth century, and Haarlem developed as a centre for landscape painters. This paper discusses geomorphological features and geotourism engagement as depicted in several of the early etchings and landscape paintings.

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