Amsterdam aiming to control influx of Tourists
The number of tourists flocking to Amsterdam is steadily rising every year. And this is causing a growing concern to the residents of Amsterdam.
Some tourists pose a problem to the city because of the kind of parties they create according to chairman of Amsterdam Centrum’s borough council, Boudewijn Oranje. Oranje told the national Dutch nespaper, Trouw that “There are a lot of tourists who view Amsterdam as a sort of Disneyland experience. Or take the stag and hen parties that move around with enormous penis hats on. That does create problems.’
He laments that ‘Everything revolves around tourists and fewer and fewer people live there.’ He said that Amsterdam is a monoculture and should not follow in the footsteps of Venice.
Amsterdam’s city councils intend to promulgate measures to lessen traffic by banning coaches and sightseeing tours in the city centre. The actions of tourists will also be limited by prohibiting ‘pub crawls’ and ‘beer bikes’ which cause much disturbances.
In January 2013, the Dutch cabinet has rolled out new rules prohibiting tourists from entering coffee shops. These coffee shops that are commonly seen in most cities is restricted to Dutch residents only or those who have the ‘weed pass’ or the membership card that a café issues to a limited 2,000 customers. This law was carried out to reduce cross-border crime done by foreigners entering the Netherlands to buy drugs then selling them illegally at home.
The dilemma the city is confronted with is the fact that Amsterdam’s revenues rely heavily on tourism. The new rules can cause a big blow to the tourism industry.
The Dutch capital with its 17th century atmosphere is home to many of its cultural treasures such as Anne Frank’s House, Van GoghMuseum, Hermitage Amsterdam, AmsterdamMuseum, Palace on the Dam, Rembrandt House, the Canal District which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2011 and other places of interest. In 2013, Amsterdam attracted more foreign tourists with the reopening of the Rijksmuseum and the city’s canals festival. In the same year, Amsterdam accounted an estimate of 31.6 million international visitors.