Join Simon Calder’s mailing list for expert travel tips and discounts.
Receive Simon Calder’s email newsletter about travel.
The number of British tourists visiting the Netherlands has decreased this year, following a campaign aimed at discouraging disruptive travelers from going to Amsterdam.
The amount of people coming from the UK has decreased by 22% when compared to 2019, which was the last year before the coronavirus pandemic when travel restrictions were not in place.
Starting in March 2023, visitors drawn to Amsterdam’s liberal culture, including its red-light district and marijuana cafes, have been advised to explore other destinations.
When individuals in the UK search for terms like “Amsterdam stag party,” “Amsterdam pub crawl,” and “affordable Amsterdam hotel,” the digital campaign is activated.
Cautionary videos appear, showing adolescent males stumbling on the road, being detained and having their fingerprints and booking photos captured, while explaining the potential hazards and outcomes of excessive drug and alcohol use: monetary penalties, hospitalization, a criminal background, and lasting harm to health.
Amsterdam continues to be a top choice for tourists in Europe, attracting approximately 20 million visitors annually. In 2019, 2.4 million of these visitors were from Britain.
Beverley Boden, the leader of the aviation, tourism, finance, and marketing department at Teesside University International Business School, stated to The Independent that the Dutch government has implemented a distinct method for dealing with the large crowds in major European cities. This approach may seem contradictory, especially as tourist organizations are striving to increase the number of visitors.
The strategy used in the Netherlands demonstrates that it is feasible to avoid disruptive tourists from visiting, and could potentially be used as a successful model for other nations attempting to achieve the same result. However, tourism plays a crucial role in a country’s economy, as seen in the case of Spain, and any decrease in tourism can have a significant impact on a complex system of businesses, hotels, vendors, attractions, and restaurants that are all interconnected.
Clearly, individuals maintain the freedom to travel to Amsterdam and explore the city as they wish. This could potentially attract a more peaceful type of tourist, in contrast to the disruptive “hooligans” who cause chaos in the city center. The Dutch approach serves as an example to other countries that it is feasible to change the type of visitors entering the country, which could ultimately benefit other types of tourists.
According to a recent report from The Times, global travelers visiting the Netherlands have decreased, based on data analyzed by ForwardKeys, a leading authority on travel industry trends. The decline has been attributed to both a campaign discouraging specific types of tourists and a limit on the number of flights allowed at Schiphol airport, which is situated near Amsterdam and is known as a major hub for air travel in Europe.
According to Olivier Ponti, the vice-president of insights at ForwardKeys, the Netherlands has implemented a limit on air connectivity.
It’s clear that this is a challenge, and they’ve started advertising campaigns urging people to stay home.
The flight cap serves to benefit both residents and the environment. If your goal is to decrease incoming traffic, the most efficient method is to restrict the number of flights.
Schiphol Airport will now limit the number of flights to 452,500 per year in order to decrease noise and greenhouse gas pollution. This is a 9.5% decrease from the amount of flights in 2019. KLM, the national airline of the Netherlands, has expressed disapproval of this restriction.
The Netherlands’ transportation minister, Mark Harbers, revealed the revised regulations in September. He emphasized the positive contributions of aviation to the country, but also acknowledged the need to address the negative impacts on residents living near airports.
The limitation is planned to be implemented in 2024, subject to approval from the European Commission.
The independent is an online news publication.
The Independent, a digital news outlet, is the source.