Stay Away

This week the municipality of Amsterdam will be starting the ‘Stay Away’ campaign. This online discouragement campaign is aimed at nuisance tourists who want to visit Amsterdam to ‘go wild’, with all the ensuing consequences. The discouragement campaign is one of the steps in the wide array of measures which was adopted by the City Council and is part of the Visitors Economy Vision 2035. The campaign will commence in Great Britain, aimed at males in the age category of 18 to 35 years. During the coming year, the campaign will be further developed and it will also be aimed at potential nuisance-causing visitors from the Netherlands and other EU-countries.

Visitors who want to visit Amsterdam to ‘go wild’ and search online with various search terms  such as ‘stag party Amsterdam’, ‘cheap hotel Amsterdam’ and ‘pub crawl Amsterdam’, will be shown warning advertisements. These advertisements will show the risks and consequences of anti-social behaviour and excessive drug and alcohol (ab)use, such as being fined, being arrested by the police, getting a criminal record, hospitalization and health damage. The warnings about the risks and possible consequences will discourage some of the visitors to come. The campaign will be evaluated and possibly further developed during the coming months.

Deputy Mayor Sofyan Mbarki (Economic Affairs and Inner City Approach): “Visitors will remain welcome, but not if they misbehave and cause nuisance. In that case we as a city will say: rather not, stay away. Amsterdam is already taking lots of measures against excessive tourism and nuisance, and we are taking more measures than other large cities in Europe. But we have to do even more the coming years if we want to give tourism a sustainable place in our city. Amsterdam is a metropole and crowds and bustle are inherent features, but to keep our city liveable we now have to choose for restriction instead of irresponsible growth.”

‘How to Amsterdam’
This month another campaign will start, ‘How to Amsterdam’, aimed at visitors who have already arrived. Visitors will be informed online as well as offline about what sort of behaviour is acceptable to help reduce nuisance in the city. For instance, visitors will get information on social media and warning signs will be placed that it is forbidden to urinate in public, be drunk and disorderly, to cause noise pollution and to buy drugs from street dealers. Furthermore, hotels will provide information throughout the year using lcd screens in the lobby and by handing out city maps. Hosts will be deployed to address visitors when they are having a night on the town.

Set of measures and Visitors Economy Vision
In the fight against excessive tourism and nuisance, the City Council has adopted the Visitors Economy Vision 2035 and a wide array of measures. Several measures, among which are reduced opening hours, a ban on smoking cannabis in public and a reduction of alcohol sales in certain areas of the inner city, will already be effectuated this spring, after debate in the City Council. These measures are a follow up on the Inner City Approach strategy. The Board of Mayor and Alderpersons is also in consultation with stag party organisers about their role in reducing nuisance tourism in the inner city. Finally, several research findings are expected to be published before the summer, among others about the research into the targeted deployment and effectivity of tourist taxes, and the effects of several scenarios in limiting the number of river cruises.

Source: City of Amsterdam (Netherlands, March 2023)

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