Amsterdam has announced new measures to combat bad tourist behavior. Authorities are hoping to rein in out of control travelers in the city center, which some describe as “a jungle.”
The Dutch capital, known for its tolerant red light district, has recently undergone changes in an effort to clean up the city’s seedy image. The reforms have led to the closure of several window brothels and cannabis coffeeshops.
Now, lawn enforcement will tackle tourists, whose disorderly conduct along The Wallen will be subject to new fines that must be paid on the spot. Police officers have been given mobile card readers that enable them to charge tourists in situ. Public consumption of alcohol will result in a €95 fine; public urination, disorderliness, and littering will be subject to a €140 fine.
The council will also focus on overcrowding in The Wallen, which some residents say has made the area “unlivable.” Streets will be monitored in real time and coded green, orange or red, depending on how much activity they register. If a code red is called, officials will be called, and “if necessary, streets will be closed,” the council said. Also, certain areas of the city will be closed regularly for cleaning.
“A lot of rubbish gets thrown in the streets,” said the council. “Therefore ‘mop-up pauses’ are being introduced for certain streets.”
Elard Tissot van Patot, the founder of Amsterdam Red Light District Tours, is happy with the new measures focused on antisocial behavior but does not agree that streets should be closed.
“The Red Light District should be cleaner, but closing off entire streets is not necessary,” he told Telegraph Travel. “The street cleaners already sweep whilst there are people walking around and it works fine, but it should happen more frequently. There should also be more and bigger trash cans.”
“We also think that the sex workers won’t be too happy when the streets are closed off for business,” he added.
A few weeks ago, Arre Zuurmond, Amsterdam’s official ombudsman, said the downtown area, which attracts bachelor and bachelorette parties, had become a “jungle.”
According to the Telegraph Travel Amsterdam expert Rodney Bolt, “The sedate charm of Amsterdam has been engulfed. The surge is fatally poisoning what attracted people to the city in the first place.”