Volendam tourist town (Photo: Gisling / Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Volendam tourist town (Photo: Gisling / Wikimedia Commons)
Tuesday, 3 May 2016 - 13:30
Picturesque Volendam fed up with tourist invasion
Many Volendam residents are fed up with day-tourists coming into their picturesque village on a tour bus, taking pictures of them and their homes and then leaving after a few hours to go to the next attraction. "As if it is an open air museum", one resident complained to Dutch newspaper AD. Last year some 1.4 million tourists visited Volendam on tour buses. They have between 1 and 3 hours toe explore the village before moving along to the next Noord-Holland attraction. The tourism obviously brings in money and creates jobs. But according to the residents, most of that money goes to the major companies that organize the tour buses, many of whom are opening their own shops in the area. "It is a dilemma", alderman Hans Schutt said to the newspaper. "Of course we welcome the visitors. But it is expected that the number will grow to over 2 million visitors." According to him, all the tourist villages in the region are facing the same problems. "It is too crowded and causes traffic problem. The quality of life is threatened. And its is also not fun for the tourists." He wants to improve logistics by introducing a timetable for tour buses. This timetable should ensure that all the tour buses don't descent on the same village at once. He also wants visitors to spend more than just a few hours in Volendam. Not all Volendam residents are happy with this plan, especially not the owners of souvenir shops. "90 percent of my revenue comes from tourists who are here for a few hours", Herman Leenders of Tobben Gifts and Souvenirs said to the newspapers. "The municipality does not see to realize that this will cost jobs", the owner of Jac Simons Souvenirs added.