"Overtourism" has reached Amsterdam

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Aug 4th, 2018, 11:48 AM
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"Overtourism" has reached Amsterdam

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...our?CMP=twt_gu

"Ramon Hogendoorn, who took over his central Amsterdam porcelain, crystal and glass shop from his father in 1992, blames low-end tourism for its decline. “The richer Dutch people don’t come into town any more. The inner city isn’t so appealing, only for mass tourism.”

The traditional wooden front of his building, where expensive decorative goods have been sold since the 1820s, is plastered with signs saying “closing down sale” and “going out of business”. Wealthy tourists – who once dropped thousands of euros at a time there, ordering wares to be packed up and shipped – have been put off by the sleaze, Hogendoorn believes. “This will never come back. Quality stuff like this will never come back to the inner city. The only thing is really cheap tourist stuff,” he says, as raucous groups pass by the shop door. When he adds that the municipality refused a permit for a tourist souvenir shop to take over his lease, a customer cheers."
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Aug 4th, 2018, 04:49 PM
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Like Venice though, the Venice of the North (one of many claiming that moniker) is still no doubt a visual feast that cannot be totally ruined by mass tourism - I have not been to Amsterdam for several years but I'd wager canal boat tours on the canals are still gorgeous. But yes the mass tourism of downscale tourists - in part probably due to European young folks, especially British lager louts, who flock here because of things like coffeeshops where cannabis is legally sold over the counter (not legal technically outside however), the yes tawdry but totally unique for Europe red-light district and zillions of neat pubs. Like Venice and Florence and such which are also 'ruined by mass tourism' don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Locals like menachem continually and understandably are like a Cassandra yapping about the over tourism but they are not foreign tourists IMO with less jaundiced outlooks - and I bet areas like the Jordaan are not a sea of tourists which probably stick to a few places - the world-class museums and Anne Frank House and many lesser museums are still great but maybe more crowded than one would like. A visit during the off-season would no doubt be much nicer.

And for folks into nightlife Amsterdam has an eclectic offering for all - from world-class Jazz houses to opera and classical music but especially for younger folk who enjoy live music in neat setting like the famous Paradiso and Melkweg (Milky Way) city-owned 'youth centers'.

Don't be put off by the mobs IMO - no doubt much more than when I last visited but even then in summer it was super mobbed IME and actually lots of folks out milling around at night I always found rather neat.

Last edited by PalenQ; Aug 4th, 2018 at 04:54 PM.
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Aug 4th, 2018, 07:24 PM
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Yep. I read that article. My parents were in Amsterdam in April and said it was total insanity.
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Aug 4th, 2018, 07:57 PM
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If we revisit cities we haven't been to in many years, we are invariably disappointed and feel "it's just not the same" in terms of enjoyment.

And I happen to think that Venice is not the "visual feast" it once was. 30+ million visitors annually in a city of less than 3 square miles is going to leave a mark. That's probably one of the main reasons the local population is now less than 1/3 of what it was in 1951.
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Aug 4th, 2018, 11:35 PM
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I have a friend who just spent a month in Amsterdam, and she could not bear to go into the center of the city.
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Aug 5th, 2018, 12:39 AM
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I'm usually a bit sceptical when I hear people and especially officials whine about being overrun with tourists.
In Venice - who built those huge passenger terminals that can handle huge cruise ships? Did those terminals fall from the sky or did the elected city and regional government grant the permissions?
In Barcelona - the post-Olympics strategy had been to focus massively on tourism.
Who gave the green light for more and more hotels and hostels? Who was in charge of zoning laws? Some divine entity or the city's administration?
I agree that AirBnB is an issue which did not exist in former decades and which added fuel to the fire - but still:
It was elected city or regional governments which promoted tourism to the max and welcomed any Ryanair or Easyjet flight they lured with perks to land in Girona or Treviso, and then at El Prat and Marco Polo. And often you find cities and regions running those airports or being at least partially involved as shareholders.. conflict of interest is no wonder, I guess.
And what do you expect from visitors who need €19 airfares to visit your city? Probably not that they start shopping in upscale artsy boutiques.
IMO it was years or decades of political mismanagement or neglect which made those developments possible in the first place.
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Aug 5th, 2018, 05:16 AM
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Same in Lucerne. A new study reports that Lucerne now gets more visitors per habitant than Venice. I passed through Lucerne on my way back from a business meeting in Rotkreuz on Friday and there were groups of tourists everywhere. Most of them were Asian, which is in keeping with the report.
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Aug 5th, 2018, 07:02 AM
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Same everywhere - scratch Lucerne, Interlaken/Jungfrau Region, Zermatt,Amsterdam, Venice, Florence, Bruges, Paris, Prague, etc. And now the Chinese are just starting to come in droves.
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Aug 6th, 2018, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Like Venice though, the Venice of the North (one of many claiming that moniker) is still no doubt a visual feast that cannot be totally ruined by mass tourism - I have not been to Amsterdam for several years but I'd wager canal boat tours on the canals are still gorgeous. But yes the mass tourism of downscale tourists - in part probably due to European young folks, especially British lager louts, who flock here because of things like coffeeshops where cannabis is legally sold over the counter (not legal technically outside however), the yes tawdry but totally unique for Europe red-light district and zillions of neat pubs. Like Venice and Florence and such which are also 'ruined by mass tourism' don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Locals like menachem continually and understandably are like a Cassandra yapping about the over tourism but they are not foreign tourists IMO with less jaundiced outlooks - and I bet areas like the Jordaan are not a sea of tourists which probably stick to a few places - the world-class museums and Anne Frank House and many lesser museums are still great but maybe more crowded than one would like. A visit during the off-season would no doubt be much nicer.

And for folks into nightlife Amsterdam has an eclectic offering for all - from world-class Jazz houses to opera and classical music but especially for younger folk who enjoy live music in neat setting like the famous Paradiso and Melkweg (Milky Way) city-owned 'youth centers'.

Don't be put off by the mobs IMO - no doubt much more than when I last visited but even then in summer it was super mobbed IME and actually lots of folks out milling around at night I always found rather neat.
There are now so many illegal canal boat tours that there is regulation being made to ban canal boats over 14 m and to only issue temporary permits to a select group of operators and to ban all others from the canals. Canals are used for through traffic, people live there too and the situation has become close to unmanageable.

And stop peddling your fond memories of a city that no longer is where you left it, many years ago.
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Aug 6th, 2018, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kerouac View Post
I have a friend who just spent a month in Amsterdam, and she could not bear to go into the center of the city.
I have to be in Amsterdam for work on a weekly basis. It is just full on insanity all year round now. There's no let-up for residents.
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Aug 6th, 2018, 06:32 AM
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so you suggest folks do not visit Amsterdam?

Areas outside the mobbed tourist center are completely ruined - the area south of Museumplein and southward along Vondel Park - De Pijp? Olympic Stadium area, the whole Jordaan completely overrun - all residents gone?

What should be done - restrict hotels? How many locals live off tourism? Ban airbnb - what would you do?

Put the city off-limits to tourists?
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Aug 6th, 2018, 09:06 AM
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Well I do sympathize with the touristisation of central Amsterdam and understand your angst. And yes I can see how the explosion of tourists can ruin the enjoyment of a city. Folks may want to forego a visit in busiest seasons or is the tourist avalanche all year? Tis a pity but what can be done about it except restrict number of hotels and cruise ships and airbnbs, etc. Then many who depend on tourist trade for jobs, considerable numbers no doubt, what would they do?

It's a conundrum for sure and yes I also lament my once laid-back lovely Amsterdam is now really the Venice of the North. Thanks for the insight.
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Aug 6th, 2018, 12:42 PM
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I read an article that data crunched Lonely Planet sight seeing tips for Amsterdam. It clearly shows that the sights it recommends were and are in the city centre.

Measures either in the implementation phase or under political discussion: curbing AirBnB, restricting permits for canal tours, cracking down on illegal hotels. But the biggies, like limiting cruise ship dockings etc, those are not under discussion. And of course it is a double-edged sword: tourism also brings income. But research has also shown that the city itself hardly profits from this.

I think the greatest discontent is with the way in which a liberalised short-let market has cannibalized social housing stock and has driven up rents and property prices.
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Aug 6th, 2018, 03:48 PM
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I think the greatest discontent is with the way in which a liberalised short-let market has cannibalized social housing stock and has driven up rents and property prices<

How about all those corporate offices that even years ago I saw displacing residents in central Amsterdam - like along the old quaint canals?
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Aug 7th, 2018, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
I think the greatest discontent is with the way in which a liberalised short-let market has cannibalized social housing stock and has driven up rents and property prices<

How about all those corporate offices that even years ago I saw displacing residents in central Amsterdam - like along the old quaint canals?
That's a drop in the ocean, also because the mansions they occupy were already offices. Amsterdam has always had a high percentage of social housing right in the centre of town. One of the factors that gave Amsterdam its cool vibe was that all kinds of people used to live in the center of town. No longer.
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Aug 7th, 2018, 08:32 AM
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Yes that was cool and local pubs for nearby residents like the infamous Flying Dutchman pub near Centraal Station - for British ex-pats who lived in the area - but this is true of many large European cities where escalating housing prices force folks out - I recall when they demolished a wide swath of the old town center to build the first metro line- lots of protests and the other side saying you'll be better off in modern housing in the suburbs.

And the many squats of 70s and 80s, like Vondel Kirk of which we have spoken in protest of not having affordable living areas - all doomed by the inevitable march of gentrification and offices, etc.

But still are not inner outer areas still residential - like between Olympic Stadium and the inner ring road - areas to west by Wester Park - to east beyond the University/Zoo area - these were always the areas I enjoyed the most -like De Pijp to Amstel Station - places where few tourists penetrated - are they also being taken over by tourists - like Venice I think there are many 'quaint' parts of Amsterdam few tourists go to?

Anyway it avalanche of tourism I do understand must have taken away much of the charm on the city centrum. Too many tourists in too little space.
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Aug 7th, 2018, 09:05 AM
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It makes me so sad to read this. I guess we were lucky last summer as we didn't encounter this and there were no lines at all in the Rijksmuseum. I have always loved Amsterdam.
Perhaps there need to be regulations against AirBnB and others like it to return housing units to the local population.
I live in a popular tourism area and deal with this at certain times, not fun at all when your daily life is interrupted by tourism.
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Aug 7th, 2018, 09:56 AM
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HI, I must say that I agree with Menachem to some degree. I was in Amsterdam last July and could almost not walk on the sidewalk it was so packed with tourists. However, I did find in past years if you avoid the Summer tourist seasons, it can be much less touristy in Amsterdam and Europe in general. i hope that is still true.
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Aug 7th, 2018, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Sue81 View Post
HI, I must say that I agree with Menachem to some degree. I was in Amsterdam last July and could almost not walk on the sidewalk it was so packed with tourists. However, I did find in past years if you avoid the Summer tourist seasons, it can be much less touristy in Amsterdam and Europe in general. i hope that is still true.
Nope. No longer true in Amsterdam

NPR has an article about overtourism and Amsterdam. it's pretty accurate. https://www.npr.org/2018/08/07/63201...=1533668890031
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Aug 7th, 2018, 01:17 PM
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It makes me so sad to read this. I guess we were lucky last summer as we didn't encounter this and there were no lines at all in the Rijksmuseum. I have always loved Amsterdam.>

???

And in January when I went last times I went - several years ago - there were relatively few crowds but are you saying now in January or winter it is as bad as summer? Hard to believe why it would be - but believe it may be more crowded than several years ago but tourist mobs everywhere like in summer???
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