The authorities of Amsterdam unveiled their new campaign “Stay Away” (“Walk away”)with which they search avoid the visit of people in order to disturb the city. The initiative is aimed -mainly- at British men aged 18-35although an extension is expected during the year to other possible “annoying visitors” from countries of the European Union.
In this way, Dutch officials seek to discourage inappropriate mass tourism that usually concentrates in the city, famous for its Red Light District and its coffee shops where marijuana is sold freely.
To do this, tourists who use Internet search terms such as “Bachelor Party Amsterdam”, “cheap hotel Amsterdam” either “pubs in Amsterdam” will come across ads that display videos warning them of the risks associated with excessive alcohol and drug use, including fines, background penalties and hospitalizations.
“Amsterdam is a metropolis and crowds and bustle are inherent characteristics, but to keep our city livable, we now have to opt for restriction instead of irresponsible growth,” justified Mayor Sofyan Mbarki, adding that the city is taking other measures. against excessive tourism.
Among them, the package includes a project that seeks prohibit the authorization to smoke marijuana in open spaces in the Red Light District and, also, a new location for an erotic center away from the district.
Amsterdam is one of the favorite cities of travelers from all over the world. Each month it attracts more than a million tourists, which exceeds its population of just over 800,000.
Sex workers in brothels on small streets like Stoofsteeg and the coffee shops of historical squares such as Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein are some of the main features that make this city especially attractive for tourists who want to “go crazy”.
“Visitors will still be welcome but not if they misbehave and cause a nuisance. In that case, we as a city will say: ‘better not, stay away’”Mbarki remarked.
The controversial plan on the Red Light District
The plan on the Red Light District presented by the mayoress of the city, femke halsemaseeks keep prostitution, insecurity, noise and dirt away from the historic centerand move it to southern district From the capital. There, Halsema wants to create a erotic center as an alternative to the famous neighborhood.
However, residents and businessmen in the area have expressed their discomfort at this transfer and the problems that this entails.
“I don’t feel like living in this neighborhood anymore and letting my son go to school on the Noord-Zuid line. I am against this and therefore I want my voice to be heard. This is unacceptable,” said one of the residents, while another expressed concern about the possible shootings and the presence of drug trafficking in the zone.
Given this, the mayoress promised that “when there is a nuisance, drug dealers -which I do not think will happen- there will be law enforcement”.
(With information from Bloomberg and EFE)
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