The municipality of De Wolden is a rural community in southwest Drenthe between Meppel and Hoogeveen measuring 22,700 hectares, with 17 settlements and a population of around 24,000. The main economic pillars are agriculture, recreation and tourism, as well as some small-scale industries and retail trade. Tourism and recreation are spearheads of the municipality of De Wolden. Activities from these areas provide income for the population and give a buzz to the 17 hamlets and settlements. Attracting big companies is also an option, of course, but the regional council decided against it. ‘Tourism and recreation are very strong sectors indeed,’ says Willem Visser, coordinator of the municipal Town and Country Planning. ‘Some 150 companies are already involved.’ After the council has been si…

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