Amsterdam wants to limit alcohol sales in fight against partying tourists

People enjoying a drink on an Amsterdam terrace
People enjoying a drink on an Amsterdam terraceahavelaarDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema asked the government to come up with new legislation so that the capital can limit the sale of alcohol around entertainment areas. She hopes that this will help decrease the problems caused by partying tourists. The number of tourists and day trippers visiting Amsterdam is expected to increase from 20 million this year to 32 million in 2030, Halsema said in a letter sent to the city council along with the annual crime figures on Monday. 

"The proportion of tourists who come to Amsterdam to party causes a lot of work for the police and enforcement officers: litter, public urination, aggression, noise pollution, and petty crime," the mayor said in her letter to the city council. "Alcohol plays a major role in nuisance and misconduct."

Halsema therefore wants to limit the sale of alcohol in stores around entertainment areas in the city. But for that to be possible, Dutch law will have to be adjusted. She asked the national government to look into doing so. 

The mayor also launched a number of investigations into coffeeshops in the city. A recent survey by the city's statistics office showed that 57 percent of tourists consider coffeeshops an important or very important reason for visiting Amsterdam, she said in the letter. 

Another major attraction for tourists is the window brothels in Amsterdam, according to the mayor. She, the city council, and other stakeholders involved are therefore already in discussion about the future of sex work in Amsterdam. The city already took a number of measures to discourage mass flows of tourists to De Wallen district, which includes the Red Light District.

From April, group tours will be banned in the area. The city will also stop using the term "Red Light District" on signposts leading to the Wallen area. 

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