Amsterdam has said it will not allow the “mass nuisance and crowds” that the city endured before the pandemic to return, sending a strong warning that visitors “whose intention is to drink and misbehave, dressed like a penis” should go elsewhere. part.
As much of the EU prepares to open up to tourists who are vaccinated, have recovered from the coronavirus or may test negative as of July 1, the Dutch capital city council. said in a statement he was taking “additional measures” to discourage excesses.
With more than 19 million tourists in 2018 crowding its narrow 17th-century streets, residents have long complained that the busiest parts of the city center, including the red light district and major nightlife areas, were they were becoming unbearable.
“Visitors who respect Amsterdam and the people of Amsterdam have always been welcome,” said the city council. “Visitors who treat our residents and heritage with disrespect are not welcome. The message for them is: don’t come to Amsterdam ”.
Additional police will be deployed to discourage visitors from sleeping in their cars by issuing fines on the spot using a mobile credit card terminal, according to the statement, and efforts will be intensified to restrain illegally parked vehicles faster.
More “hosts” from the city will help police control revelers, especially on weekend nights, with plans to close streets when necessary, while short-term rental owners will be more rigorously screened to ensure that they are adhering to a 30-day annual limit, and the city’s canals will also be closely monitored for waterborne crime.
Temporary bans on alcohol, laughing gas and sound systems can and will be imposed when crowds of people get too great, the city warned. The mayor of the city, Femke Halsema, told the Het Parool newspaper that Amsterdam could not turn people away, but was trying to encourage more cultural tourism and reduce nuisance levels.
The city’s advocacy agency, amsterdam & partners, is launching an online information and poster campaign to raise awareness of ‘desired behavior’. The city “does not want annoyances from bad behavior, such as noise, urinating in public, drunkenness in the street,” a spokesman said. said Dutchnews. “So we are starting an activation campaign targeting the kind of behavior we want.”
Last year, Halsema unveiled plans to ban non-residents from its 166 coffee shops selling cannabis after commissioning an investigation that showed 58% of foreign tourists visiting Amsterdam come primarily to consume the drug.
He has also submitted proposals to build a five-story “erotic center” outside the city with two bars, 100 small rooms and a “erotic entertainment” venue as part of a plan to close many of the windows on sex workers. in the current red light district.
Rob Hofland, councilor for the progressive party D66, told DutchNews it was “only a matter of time” before tourists started coming back in large numbers, adding: “If you intend to see the most beautiful city in the world, come to Amsterdam. If your intention is to drink and misbehave, dressed like a penis, look elsewhere! “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism