Party’s over: Amsterdam plans to keep tourists ‘in penis outfits’ away | Netherlands

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Amsterdam has said it will not allow a return to the “nuisance and massive crowds” the city endured before the pandemic, sending a blunt warning that visitors “whose intention is to booze and misbehave, dressed like a penis” should go elsewhere.

As much of the EU prepares to open up to tourists who are vaccinated, have recovered from the coronavirus or can provide a negative test from 1 July, the Dutch capital’s city hall said in a statement it was taking “extra measures” to discourage excesses.

With more than 19 million tourists in 2018 thronging its narrow 17th-century streets, residents have long complained that the busiest parts of the city centre, including the red-light district and main nightlife areas, were becoming unliveable.

“Visitors who respect Amsterdam and the people of Amsterdam have always been welcome,” city hall said. “Visitors who treat our residents and heritage with disrespect are not welcome. The message for them is: don’t come to Amsterdam.”

Extra police will be deployed to deter visitors from sleeping in their cars by issuing on-the-spot fines using a mobile credit card terminal, the statement said, and efforts will be stepped up to clamp illegally parked vehicles faster.

More city “hosts” will help police manage revellers, especially on weekend nights, with plans to close streets when necessary, while owners of short-stay rentals will be more rigorously checked to ensure they are respecting a 30-day annual limit, while the city’s canals will also be closely monitored for waterborne offences.

Temporary bans on alcohol, laughing gas and sound systems can and will be imposed when concentrations of people become too great, the city warned. The city’s mayor, Femke Halsema, told Het Parool Amsterdam could not refuse people, but was trying to encourage more cultural tourism and reduce nuisance levels.

The city’s promotion agency, amsterdam&partners, is launching a campaign of posters and online information to raise awareness of “desired behaviour”.

The city “does not want nuisance from poor behaviour – like noise, peeing in public, street drunkenness”, a spokesperson told Dutchnews. “So we are starting an activation campaign targeting the kind of behaviour we do want.”

Halsema last year unveiled plans to ban non-residents from its 166 cannabis-selling coffee shops after commissioning research that showed 58% of foreign tourists who visit Amsterdam come mainly to consume the drug.

She has also submitted proposals to build an out-of-town five-storey “erotic centre” with two bars, 100 small rooms and an “erotic entertainment” venue as part of a plan to shut down many of the sex-workers windows in the current red light district.

Rob Hofland, a councillor for the progressive D66 party, told DutchNews it was “only a matter of time” before tourists started returning in numbers, adding: “If it is your intention to see the most beautiful city in the world, come to Amsterdam. If your intention is to booze and misbehave, dressed like a penis, look elsewhere!”

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Written by bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.


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