Officials in Amsterdam have had enough of rowdy tourists disrupting the beautiful city and are proposing legislation that would effectively ban bachelor parties and crack down on disruptive behavior.
The European city is known for its laid-back and friendly lifestyle, with the legalization of marijuana and the famed red light district bringing in large numbers of tourists throughout the year. These travelers are often looking to celebrate with their friends and have a good time, however, the ‘good times’ often lead to disruptive behavior that city officials are becoming increasingly concerned about.
The former deputy mayor of Amsterdam, Frits Huffnagel, is asking politicians to consider issuing legislation that would ban bachelor parties and the resulting “drunk puking” mischief that is ruining the ambiance of the waterside city.
“Amsterdam can better focus on banning groups of drunk, puking bachelor parties, for example from England. That is what really causes trouble,” Huffnagel, told The Sun.
While Amsterdam has a small population of less than 1 million, the city is usually filled with groups of tourists from around the world, at all times of the year and generally sees more than 20 million visitors a year. Due to the large number of visitors, the city has implemented an ‘Enjoy and Respect’ campaign that seeks to encourage tourists to visit the city, enjoy its beautiful amenities and attractions while respecting the local laws and rules. The campaign is geared towards tourists between the ages of 18-34 who are known to visit Amsterdam for weekends of partying and disruption.
The campaign strives to advise visitors of recent changes to laws that aim to control some of the more disorderly effects of partying. Restrictions on beer bikes, Segway rides, and some boat trips were all implemented to curb the noise complaints by local residents and visitors. Cruise ships have been diverted from the core of the city, and restrictions were placed on short-term rentals in the busiest areas of the city– all in an attempt to curb the growing problem of rowdy tourists. The city has also implemented new fines for public intoxication and urinating in a canal (the fact that this was such a common problem that a law had to be developed is disturbing on its own!).
“It’s a city where freedom is important and you have to accept a degree of nuisance, but it’s now out of hand,” Stephen Hodes of the independent think tank Amsterdam in Progress told The Sun. “The crux of the problem is that there are too many tourists. The only thing to do is to take radical measures, otherwise, it’s a consumption ghetto, not a city where people live.”
While the measures may seem restrictive to some, city officials and representatives maintain that Amsterdam is a tolerant city that is open to all visitors that focuses on personal freedom and enjoyment. However, as it is also a city that is home to many residents, certain rules and regulations must be adhered to, to ensure that everyone can enjoy the space without the debauchery.