Thursday, 11 February 2016 - 07:31
Amsterdam mayor: come for a visit, stay somewhere else
Amsterdam does not need to attract more tourists, the city is already busy all the time, according to Mayor Eberhard van der Laan. He is calling on the other big cities in the Netherlands to take in more tourists and to relieve the pressure on the capital. He would like it if a tourist visits Amsterdam, but overnights in Rotterdam. "That may well be our salvation", he said in an interview with Het Parool on Wednesday. The Dutch capital is expecting more than 17 million tourists this year. And the number is expected to increase to 23 million in 2025. "We have to focus on spreading the tourists across the country", he said to the newspaper, adding that he sees it as a priority to help other cities share the tourism success. "The need to do something about it comes from all sides." Van der Laan already discussed several options to encourage the spreading of tourists across the big cities with his colleagues in Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague. One option is free public transport through the Randstad. "My colleague Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam proposed to create a cultural experience on the train, with music and arts. That a tourist can make a trip through the Randstad. A great idea." he said. Amsterdam Marketing is working hard to get this cooperation up and running. Spokesperson Macteld Ligtvoet told the newspaper that they are pleased with the mayor's call. "We made the first hit by spreading tourists around the metropolis: Haarlem, Zandvoort and Muiden. The next step is Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht."