In Empty Amsterdam, Reconsidering Tourism

Support for the prostitutes and occasional store house owners was echoed in a number of interviews with Amsterdam residents, together with Roy Van Kempen, a 31-year-old advertising and marketing supervisor who has lived in Amsterdam since 2008.

“Paris has the Eiffel Tower, and we have the Red Light District and this idea that everything is possible in Amsterdam. And I would like to keep it like this, actually,” he stated.

But Irina, Mr. Helms, Mr. Van Kempen and half a dozen different Amsterdammers interviewed agreed that the town middle has a significant drawback: A tourism “monoculture” has taken root, and residents are being pushed out. Businesses and companies that used to cater to locals — high-quality bakeries, butcher retailers, and the like — have been changed by trinket retailers, ice-cream parlors and “Nutella shops,” which serve takeaway waffles and different treats smeared within the hazelnut unfold, primarily to vacationers. Meanwhile, rising housing costs — due, partly, to the rise of Airbnb and different trip rental platforms — have made the town middle unaffordable for a lot of locals.

This monoculture has been thrown into the highlight over the previous 12 months, Ms. Udo stated, including that she had been struck by how abandoned the town middle has felt throughout the pandemic, particularly in comparison with different components of Amsterdam. “That was a real eye-opener,” she stated. “There are not enough people living there and working there to get this liveliness back in the neighborhood when the visitors are gone.”

Alongside the restrictions proposed by the mayor’s workplace, metropolis officers and a few residents have additionally tried softer approaches to tackling the issues related to tourism, a few of which had been rolled out with success earlier than the pandemic.

One essential technique has been to attempt to attain guests earlier than they even arrive. Amsterdam’s Enjoy and Respect marketing campaign, which launched in 2018, focused the first supply of the habits issues — Dutch and British males between the ages of 18 and 34 — with messages concerning the fines they might incur by urinating on the street, littering or getting drunk in public areas. A subsequent survey confirmed that the messages had reached at the least a part of that viewers, however measuring the marketing campaign’s effectiveness has proved to be a problem.

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