The mayor of Amsterdam, Flemke Halsema, has proposed a ban on tourists visiting cannabis cafes after the Dutch capital saw years of anti-social behavior by tourists.
Halsema, an ecologist, has suggested that only Dutch residents should be allowed to visit the 166 cannabis-selling coffee shops so that tourists can focus on other tourist spots and travel to Amsterdam for the right reasons, TheSchengen.com reports.
We wish they would come for its richness, beauty and cultural foundation. The problem is: there are a lot of them. Drug tourists are the reason for the increased demand for marijuana.
A local in Amsterdam told Deutsche Welle that one day while resting in his bed, he saw someone who had just sat up and vomited in the window. According to him, tourists do not respect the fact that there are neighborhoods and people who work, have day jobs and live there.
Previously, Mayor Halsema discussed the matter and put forward the proposal in February 2020, although according to a commissioned report, a third of tourists will stop visiting the country as a result.
“If they ban tourists, 80 percent of our customers will go. It’s quite a lie. Eve McGuire, who works in a cannabis café, told DW, who revealed that the ban is unlikely to pass.
The director of the Cannabis Museum in Amsterdam, Gary Gallagher, agreed, also saying that the pandemic and the closures had shown just how harmful the lack of traffic could be for cafes.
Furthermore, Gallagher noted that although cafes are closed during lockdowns, drug dealers can be seen on every street corner. According to him, Amsterdam will always have the reputation of a destination that is not subject to any restrictions.
Don Cedar, lawyer and council member, also said that the culture of Amsterdam should be improved because such a change would attract different types of tourists; Thus, the city will become more convenient for its residents.
In the first campaign of 2021, the capital has set up a €100,000 fund in order to become a tourist spot where travelers are interested in visiting street art, Europe’s highest swing and other creative options that also address a sustainable and eco-friendly city.
This goal of attracting more tourists is in line with the city’s vision that “visitors are welcome but not at any cost,” said Denis Butkan, a former PvdA member.