Party tourists from the UK still know where to find Amsterdam. The “Stay Away” campaign launched at the beginning of this year does not make the city any less attractive, the municipality wrote. However, the campaign is being developed and expanded to include other countries.
The stay-away campaign has partly changed Amsterdam’s image among tourists, mayor Femke Halsema and councilor Sofiane Mbarki (dealing with the city centre) wrote in a letter to the city council. This way, visitors become more aware of the rules. They cannot point out exactly the new restrictions (such as the smoking ban).
“As part of further development of the discouragement campaign, we are considering whether we can make the campaign messaging more specific, in order to improve the city’s image for this target group,” the letter said.
Contrary to British reports
The results contradict reports by some British media, such as: The Independent. They wrote that the number of tourists from the UK to Amsterdam fell by 22 percent compared to 2019 and linked this to the campaign. But the campaign does not seem to play a role in this. This decline may be because travel to Europe has become much more expensive for Britons.
The decline in tourists is evident for downtown entrepreneurs. Bar owners in particular notice that it is less busy. It even needs British tourists, says Rina Jungeblut of Emmelot Cafe.
British tourists seemed unimpressed shortly after the campaign was launched:
The discouragement campaign is now entering its second phase. From the beginning of next year, the municipality will research the most effective way to reduce tourist inconvenience. The campaign will also target tourists from other European countries and the Netherlands itself.
The municipality hopes not only to reduce the number of party tourists, but to attract fewer tourists in the first place. “Unlike ten years ago, we now look at culture, diversity, the local economy, international companies and the negative consequences of overtourism in a new way. Developing and disseminating a realistic and attractive image of the city and the people of Amsterdam is key in the years to come.”
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