Amsterdam ‘gatvol’ with British men coming to ‘jol’
Campaign launched to keep tourists away lured by fantasies of sex and drugs
Amsterdam is targeting young British men in a “Stay Away” campaign aimed at keeping rowdy visitors from descending on the city.
The online effort launched last week by Amsterdam city authorities, which initially targets British men between the ages of 18 and 35, will be broadened over the year to potential “nuisance visitors” from EU countries, the municipality said.
The discouragement campaign is an attempt by the Dutch city, famed for its red-light district and coffee shops that sell marijuana, to crack down on the wrong kind of mass tourism. It is part of a larger package of measures adopted by the city council, with Amsterdam also seeking to ban outdoor marijuana smoking in the red-light district. The city is also considering a new location for an erotic centre away from the district.
“Amsterdam is a metropole and crowds and bustle are inherent features, but to keep our city liveable we now have to choose for restriction instead of irresponsible growth,” Amsterdam’s deputy mayor, Sofyan Mbarki, said , adding that the city was taking more measures against excessive tourism than other large metropolitan areas in Europe.
Amsterdam attracts more than 1-million tourists on average each month, surpassing its population of just more than 800,000. Sex workers in brothel windows in small alleys such as Stoofsteeg in the red-light district draw hordes of tourists who come there to gawk at them. Coffee shops on historic plazas such as Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein get visitors lured by the cannabis they sell.
The city is now making a concerted effort to keep away tourists who want to visit Amsterdam to “go wild”.
Tourists who use search terms online such as “stag party Amsterdam,” “cheap hotel Amsterdam” or “pub crawl Amsterdam” will be met with advertisements that show videos warning them of risks associated with excessive drinking and drug use such as fines, a criminal record or hospitalisation.
“Visitors will remain welcome, but not if they misbehave and cause nuisance,” Mbarki said. “In that case we as a city will say: rather not, stay away.”
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.