The council of Amsterdam is launching a digital campaign targeting men aged 18 to 35 in the UK in an effort to clean up the city’s reputation as Europe’s most liberal party capital. The campaign aims to discourage excessive use of drugs and alcohol by highlighting the risks associated with it.
The initiative involves displaying online ads to users in Britain who search for terms like “stag party,” “cheap hotel,” or “pub crawl Amsterdam.” The ads feature videos of young men being arrested, fingerprinted, and photographed by the police.
The message is clear and straightforward – a wild weekend in Amsterdam may lead to lasting memories, but the consequences could be severe and irreversible.
Return flights to Amsterdam from the UK are available for as low as £50 (€57; $62), and travel agencies offer stag weekends that include canal boat cruises with unlimited alcohol, “steak and strip” nights, and pub crawls through the red light district.
The Amsterdam council hopes that the digital campaign will deter UK visitors from engaging in risky behaviors and contribute to a more positive image of the city.
For years, Amsterdam has been plagued by the behavior of rowdy British tourists, who have been known to urinate in public, engage in drunken brawls, and strip off in public.
In response, Amsterdam’s city council has launched targeted ad campaigns to discourage such behavior. However, critics argue that these campaigns are discriminatory and based on unfair stereotypes.
While some visitors do come to Amsterdam for the coffee shops, others are drawn to the city’s rich culture and history. Attempts to exclude certain groups based on age and gender go against Amsterdam’s principles of freedom, tolerance, and equality.
Amsterdam’s popularity as a tourist destination is taking a toll on the city’s narrow, cobbled streets and canals. With around 20 million visitors annually, including one million Brits, locals are becoming increasingly intolerant of over-tourism.
The council has responded by launching an awareness campaign featuring billboards in the red light district that read “We Live Here” with photos of residents.
To address issues around the sex trade, the council is relocating the famous neon-lit windows to a new “erotic zone” and implementing more stringent operating rules, including earlier closing times for brothels and bars and a ban on smoking cannabis on the streets around the Red Light District from May.
The ongoing debate over tourism and cannabis cafes in Amsterdam: locals push for sustainability, tourists push for indulgence.
The city is taking measures to manage tourism and maintain livability, but some argue that it’s the sheer number of visitors that’s the issue.
While some are skeptical of the anti-tourism campaign, Deputy Mayor Sofyan Mbarki insists that visitors are welcome, as long as they behave and don’t cause problems.