Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations in Europe thanks to its multicultural atmosphere and also the broader liberties allowed by Dutch laws.
The city is facing serious problems from tourists who often vandalize or exhibit anti-social behavior under the influence of alcohol or other substances. For this reason, municipal authorities have severely imposed fines and launched a campaign asking foreign visitors to "rethink it" before committing any disaster.
The campaign "Fun and Respect", in cooperation with local police and health structures, warns tourists about the strict fines on any anti-social behavior in the city of Amsterdam. Umbilication in public places is punished with direct fines of EUR 140 while public anti-social behavior due to drunkenness will now cost criminals 95 euros!
New visitors from Britain and Denmark
According to city authorities, most of the problems are usually caused by young tourists from Britain and Denmark aged 18-34 who adopt excessive behavior. Local police officers have already been supplied with special machines for the on-site delivery of a fine to offenders after identifying their details. "It's a bold move towards excessive behavior," says Amsterdam Marketing CEO Franz van der Avert.
"Are you throwing trash? 140 euro on the street, in the bucket for free »
"Many campaigns that simply ban things just do not work. Visitors are welcome but should treat our city and its inhabitants with respect ". For designing ads, the authorities acted collectively as they consulted psychologists, police officers, tour operators, and residents.
Mobile Alerts through SMS
The six-month advertising campaign, costing 225,000 euros, includes electronic listings, as well as forecasting and airport posters. But perhaps the most pioneering feature of all is targeted messages to smartphones of all users entering bulk tourists' points and "red bands" recorded by most vandalism.
Through GPS, an automated system that does not threaten sensitive user data, sends anonymous, warning messages to visitors approaching the Red Light District area, the Central Station and the streets with most nightclubs.
A "strict restrictions package" to be applied
Fines are not the only move of the authorities. Two weeks ago, the new municipal authorities announced a series of stringent measures to protect the city. In this context, Airbnb was forbidden in various areas of the city, several cruise ships were diverted from the port and many tourist coaches were trafficked out of Amsterdam's roads so that the city did not end up as a "Disney theme park", as said by the municipal authorities.
At the same time, the increase in tourism taxes to 7% is expected to bring about $ 105 million a year to be used to boost policing on the streets of the city. "Yes, you can look at the ladies in the" Red Light District "and buy sex. You can smoke a joint cigarette and drink alcohol. But please be quiet and do not leave your garbage back or hang around in the middle of the road, "says Pim Evers of the Hospitality Association.
However, there are also many who fear that the fines and the campaign are not enough. Stephen Hoods, the founder of the independent think tank Amsterdam in Progress, thinks that only by limiting the numbers of tourists and flights will something really change. Last year the average stay time for tourists increased by 13%. "It's a city where freedom is important and we have to accept some degree of annoyance, but the situation is out of control," Houdows says. "Tourists are too many and we need to take drastic measures otherwise we will end up being a" ghetto of consumption "rather than a city where people live."