In Empty Amsterdam, Reconsidering Tourism

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Help for the prostitutes and occasional store homeowners 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 now we have the Crimson Gentle District and this concept that every thing is feasible in Amsterdam. And I wish to maintain it like this, truly,” he mentioned.

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

This monoculture has been thrown into the highlight over the previous yr, Ms. Udo mentioned, including that she had been struck by how abandoned the town heart has felt in the course of the pandemic, particularly in comparison with different elements of Amsterdam. “That was an actual eye-opener,” she mentioned. “There should not sufficient individuals residing there and dealing there to get this liveliness again within the neighborhood when the guests 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 have been rolled out with success earlier than the pandemic.

One important technique has been to attempt to attain guests earlier than they even arrive. Amsterdam’s Take pleasure in 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 not less than a part of that viewers, however measuring the marketing campaign’s effectiveness has proved to be a problem.

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