Amsterdam, known for booze, sex and weed, wants to rebrand. And the way to do it? Tell the rowdy, horny crowds to “stay away”.
Launching this week, a digital discouragement campaign is out to deter men aged 18 to 35 from the United Kingdom from travelling to the Netherlands capital city. It’s in an effort to clean up the streets as well as the reputation of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam no longer wants party capital crown
Once a one-stop-shop for single men, Amsterdam previously based its tourism industry on the infamous Red Light District. Red lights adorned the seedy district with sex workers on display for tourists to ogle at, and attempt to take inconspicuous images of the workers. It was also one of the only places in Europe where marijuana could be purchased legally and without a license. The recipe resulted in horny and stoned men taking advantage of the liberal city’s loose rules.
But, the city wants no more of the nonsense that has come with its reputation.
A new online ad highlights the risks associated with going to the extreme in the city. From being arrested to facing expensive fines, it sets out to determine whether the rowdy Bucks’ Parties are really worth the trip.
Showing a drunk man being arrested and having his mugshot taken as well as being fingerprinted, it paints a pretty grim picture of the picturesque canal town. Even the 50 quid flights couldn’t be worth a lifetime smear on your record, as well as the foggy memories of being arrested in public.
“Tourists come for the museums and also for the coffeeshops (marijuana shops),” Joachim Helms, owner of the Greenhouse coffee shop, told the BBC.
Amsterdam is one of the hottest tourist destinations, boasting a staggering 20 million visitors annually. But now the residents want their city back. The Red Light District is now adorned with images of the locals with the simple caption: “We Live Here”.
It’s the anti-tourist tourism campaign that, for the first time, is begging people to stay away.