Amsterdam looks to discourage rowdy tourists

A picture of the Red Light District in Amsterdam, specifically a so-called shop window "sex palace"

The Dutch authorities aim to reduce the number of “nuisance” tourists visiting Amsterdam, especially in the red light district.
Image: Dean Mohteropoulos (Getty Images)

Amsterdam’s municipal government has proposed a series of reforms to reduce “Disturbing tourism“, including restrictions on the sale of cannabis, bachelor parties and pub crawls. The popular party destination for European visitors will also run a “Stay Away” campaign as officials aim to improve life and safety for its residents.

The Dutch city has long been a hot spot for visitors looking to enjoy liberal drug laws, legal sex work and an “anything goes” attitude. But as residents increasingly complain about late-night noise and dangerous encounters with unruly tourists, elected officials are looking to rebrand the city as a destination for a more sophisticated traveler.

A series of ads – dubbed the “desperation campaign” – will initially target UK tourists. almost 2.5 million British visitors go to Amsterdam every year, complete more than 10% of the city’s annual tourists. Local businesses are complaining Because the influx of party-seeking tourists drove residents out of the city’s commercial center and forced the local economy to rely on drugs and nightlife.

The reforms also include banning the public consumption of cannabis, converting hotel areas into residences, and setting a hard limit on the number of available beds in the city. The city council will vote tomorrow (December 21) on the proposed measures.

a quote:

“There are businesses that misuse Amsterdam’s image to sell it as a place of ‘unlimited possibilities’. As a result, some groups of visitors think of it as a city where anything goes. This type of tourism, as well as offers specifically aimed at these groups, are not considered desirable on by the municipal administration”. – Sufian Baraki, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam.

The future of sex work in Amsterdam

These reforms are based on a proposal to build 15,000 square feet High-rise “erotic center”.to move sex workers from the red light district to a place outside the city. The proposal, officially called “a hotel and mixed entertainment center for public use”, was first presented in 2021 by Pamka Halsama, the mayor of the city. The building will include 100 small rooms, two bars and a publicly funded strip club.

The center’s location is designed to keep sex tourists away from history The De Volen neighborhood in the city center, commonly known as the city’s red light district. There will be civil servants managing the building, emergency services on hand, and only one entrance and exit for security purposes.

The Netherlands legalized sex work in 2000 with the intention of regulating the industry and protecting its workers. There are approx 200,000 active sex workers in the Netherlands, with 40% based in Amsterdam. They are expected to register with their local Chamber of Commerce and pay income tax. According to the Dutch government, Sex work and recreational drug use contribute 2.5 billion euros ($2.7 billion) to the national economy each year.

Germany went up in smoke

A potential holiday alternative for boisterous Brits looking to let loose can be found just around the corner. Germany is poised to become only the second European country to legalize the recreational use of marijuana after the government unveiled a plan to legalize the drug in October.

Before any final decision, the European Commission will first have to determine whether the proposed policy change contravenes A Legal decision from 2004 which regulates drug laws throughout the European Union. While weed has been decriminalized in several European countries, it is only legal to grow and sell in the island nation of Cyprus. In the Netherlands, the use of cannabis is tolerated mainly in cafes and private residences, but the commercial cultivation of the drug for commercial purposes is still illegal.

Already the largest economy in Europe, the legalization of the sale and recreational use of marijuana could be an economic boon for Germany. The proposed plan requires all demand to be met by local production, which would effectively create a new, government-subsidized market. According to A Final reportLegalizing cannabis could increase Germany’s annual tax revenue by around 4.7 billion euros ($5 billion) and create 27,000 new jobs.

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