In Empty Amsterdam, Reconsidering Tourism

The support of prostitutes and coffee shop owners was echoed in numerous interviews with Amsterdam residents, including Roy Van Kempen, a 31-year-old marketing manager who has lived in Amsterdam since 2008.

“Paris has the Eiffel Tower, and we have a red light district and the idea that everything is possible in Amsterdam. And I would like to put it this way, really, ”he said.

But Irina, Mr. Hales, Mr. Van Kempen and half-a-dozen other Amsterdamers agreed in interviews that there is a major problem in the city center: a tourism “monoculture” has taken root, and residents are being pushed out. Businesses and services that catered to the local people – high-quality bakeries, butcher shops, and the like – have been replaced by trinket shops, ice cream parlors and “nutella shops”, takeaways smeared in hazelnuts Serve waffles and other treats. Spread, mainly for tourists. Meanwhile, rising housing prices – due, in part, to the rise of Airbnb and other vacation rental platforms – have made the city center ineffective for many locals.

This monoculture has been in the headlines over the past year, Ms. Udo said, stating how deserted she felt during the epidemic in the city center, especially in comparison to other parts of Amsterdam. “It was a real eye opener,” she said. “There are not enough people living and working there to get this livelihood in the neighborhood when visitors leave.”

With restrictions proposed by the mayor’s office, city officials and some residents have tried a softer approach to dealing with tourism-related problems, some of which rolled with success before the epidemic.

An important strategy has also been to try to reach the visitors before they arrive. Of amsterdam Enjoy and respect The campaign, which began in 2018, targeted the primary source Behavior problems – Dutch and British people between 18 and 34 years old – may be due to urinating on the street, littering in public areas or being drunk, with messages about fines. a Later survey The messages were shown to have reached at least part of that audience, but measuring the effectiveness of the campaign proved to be a challenge.

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