This writer has a strong connection to Amsterdam having lived and worked there many years ago. Prior to that work he was a tour guide in Europe and visited many times then as well. Post both the afore mentioned employments he has revised for both personal and business reasons.
The city has been greatly affected with the raid development of mass tourism over the last decade, especially from large population emerging tourist markets. In addition, the more local ‘weekenders’ – such as stag and hen nights which are facilitated by cheap low cost airlines have added to the cities ‘overtoursim’.
This latest move by the city authorities follows along from previous changes, restricting AirBNB, banning guided tours of the red light area and stopping further hotel development. Such changes are welcome in the eye of this writer and supported by his friends still resident in the city centre.
Amsterdam is only one of many cities and countries starting to review and overhaul their tourism exposure.
The following words are from Samantha Smith from Karryon
Overseas visitors to Amsterdam could face a being banned from the city’s cannabis coffee shops in a bid to put an end to “soft drug tourism”.
It’s no secret that police, locals, and the city’s first female mayor, Femke Halsema, are fed up with tourists purely visiting the destination to get high. According to Forbes, a total of 46 million people visited the Netherlands in 2019, with most coming to Amsterdam and many buying and smoking cannabis at the marijuana cafes. The new plan, which is expected to be passed, will begin at some point next year and will only allow permit marijuana product sales to Dutch nationals and residents of the Netherlands.
In January 2020, Amsterdam banned guided tours of the cities red light area and now, if the city puts a stop to tourism purchasing marijuana, it’ll be another big step closer to eradicating its reputation as a sex and drug destination.
“Amsterdam is an international city and we want to welcome tourists, but we would like tourists who come for the wealth of the city, for its beauty, for its cultural institutions,” Mayor Halsema told Dutch public television.
Like other popular European destinations, such as Rome, Barcelona, and Venice, Amsterdam has also taken several steps to reduce overcrowding and annoyance caused by over-tourism in the city centre. This has been done by reducing the number of shops targeting overseas travellers, clamping down on Airbnb, halting new hotel developments, and increasing taxes.
Amsterdam is a colourful destination with stunning architecture, great cuisine, a fascinating history and an array of museums and galleries – and the city hopes to attract travellers that are interested in exploring these options. Amsterdam isn’t the only destination hoping to appeal to a new type of traveller post-COVID-19. Thailand and New Zealand have also been reported to be reevaluating their appeal moving forwards.