British visitors to Amsterdam have been a source of concern for authorities in recent years. Many come to the city solely intending to get drunk and engage in rowdy behavior. As a result, the city has launched the “Stay Away” campaign.
“Stay Away” Campaign
Complaints from residents and business owners have resulted in the city launching the “Stay Away” campaign, which urges visitors to behave responsibly. The issue has also led to calls for tighter regulations on drinking and drug use in the city and more police.
While Amsterdam has long been known as a popular destination for partygoers, there is growing recognition that the city needs to strike a better balance between tourism and the quality of life for its residents.
Tourists vs. Residents
On the one hand, some people argue that visitors should be free to enjoy themselves however they choose, as long as they are not harming anyone else. They point out that Amsterdam has always had a reputation as a party destination and that this is one of the reasons why so many people visit the city. They also argue that it is unfair to single out British visitors, as people from all over the world come to Amsterdam to enjoy the nightlife.
On the other hand, critics of British visitors to Amsterdam argue that their behavior can be extremely disruptive and that it is unfair to expect residents to put up with drunkenness and rowdiness on a regular basis. They say that the city needs to do more to discourage this behavior, whether through increased policing, stricter drinking and drug use regulations, or by promoting other aspects of the city that are less focused on nightlife.
Amsterdam says the campaign targets “nuisance tourists” who plan to behave wildly. It initially focuses on British men aged 18 to 35, but the city may extend the campaign to include other tourists later this year.
A Local’s Perspective
“Amsterdam has been a destination for people looking for museums, beautiful canals, and culture,” says Amsterdam local Marjolein of Spark Nomad. “At the same time, there always have been a lot of tourists coming to Amsterdam to party and go to the “coffeeshops” to have a good time.”
She goes on to say, “There always are a lot of British people who visit Amsterdam. The flights are incredibly inexpensive and short, plus the airport is very well connected to Amsterdam. Especially with groups of men going away for a weekend or celebrating a bachelor party, Amsterdam is a hit. They are often very loud, have no regard for rules, and just do whatever they want.”
Starting mid-May, the Red-Light District will be a smoke-free zone for cannabis users. The city council has announced that smoking cannabis in public outdoor spaces within the Red Light District will be banned. This move means that cannabis consumption will be confined to designated indoor areas like cannabis coffee shops.
Current restrictions in the Red Light District apply to the sale of alcohol by shops, cafeterias, and liquor stores. The sale of alcoholic beverages is banned from 4 pm Thursday through Sunday. This restriction will be further tightened starting mid-May. During times when alcohol sales are prohibited, the sale of alcoholic beverages must be concealed or removed from the shop.
This article originally appeared on Wander With Alex. Featured Image Credit: [@olgacov/DepositPhotos]
Alexandrea Sumuel is a travel writer and the founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog, where she provides vacationers and travel enthusiasts with trip ideas, travel guides, news, and itineraries. She travels to experience, eat, and explore-- and, on occasion, escape! Alex’s mission is to help people travel a little easier.