Call to end mass tourism in Amsterdam

The residents of Amsterdam are tired of tourists. They are taking the coronavirus as an opportunity to call for reform of mass tourism in the city.

Because of the pandemic, tourism in Amsterdam fell almost overnight from around 55,000 visitors a day to almost zero, reports NRC. While this has widespread economic consequences for local businesses, some people are enjoying the break.

The tourist crisis is something that was already an issue in Amsterdam before the coronavirus. The lockdown has brought it to more recent attention.

On June 9, residents of Amsterdam put out a petition calling for a reform to tourism in the city. The petition calls for a cap of 12 million overnight stays in Amsterdam per year. It has gathered over 24,000 signatures already.

According to Martijn Badir, one of the co-creators of the petition, “the coronavirus showed us that Amsterdam isn’t dependent on tourism. The tourist shops were closed and locals are getting to know their neighbours for the first time”. The petition calls for a return of Amsterdam to the locals.

A European problem?

Amsterdam isn’t the only city struggling with this issue. Tourist hotspots such as Barcelona and Venice have seen similar calls for a pause in mass tourism. In March the major of Venice announced the move to a more “intelligent tourism” reports euronews. While the city hasn’t announced concrete plans yet, this would involve limiting the number of tourists allowed into the city.

Despite this, the economic importance of tourism can’t be ignored. In Europe, about 22 million jobs are directly dependent on tourism. The expectation is that more than half of family companies in Venice will go bankrupt by the end of the corona crisis.

While tourism is economically important, Residents of Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Venice have had enough. Maybe the coronavirus is an opportunity for the creation of a smaller-scale, local, and sustainable tourism.

Should Amsterdam return to tourism as usual after the end of the coronavirus? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: Dimhou/Pexels

Annabelle Willeme
Annabelle was born in Utrecht but grew up in Mali, Bosnia and Uganda. She moved back to Utrecht to study and is so far doing a terrible job getting back in touch with Dutch culture. Hopefully, it’s an upward trend from here. Besides writing she enjoys playing football, re-watching Grey’s Anatomy for the 10th time, drinking copious amounts of tea and has recently started trying to brew her own wine and beer… we’ll see how it goes.

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