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"Stop Travelling!" - Netherlands and More Countries Ask For A Tourist Ban

The Dutch have faced a great deal of forced and brutal occupations. From the Romans to the Nazi's, they've faced it all. But what's worse is the great occupation of tourists that seem to never stop.

The number of tourists visiting here are increasing at an overwhelming rate, courtesy cheap flights and stays. As per reports, the Netherlands had a footfall of about 19 million tourists. The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions assumes that the number of annual visitors is likely to increase by 50 percent over the next decade, to around 29 million which is fairly a huge number. 

Netherlands is in a state of what Europeans tag as overtourism. And with the extensive rise in the number, the quality of life has gone down drastically. Residents are unhappy and the complaints are a result of all the inconvenience caused to them. Some of the issues faced are  vandalism to alcohol-induced defilement, vomiting in flower boxes, urinating in mailboxes, and crowds spilling the streets from the sidewalks.

Amsterdam tried to combat the collateral damage caused to their heritage and architecture by passing various legislations which includes a moratorium on new hotel construction in much of the city, new fines have been imposed- 140 euros for public urination or drunk and disorderly conduct,  new impositions on Airbnb rentals by restricting stays up to 30 nights a year per unit and a combination of bans and restrictions on new tourist-centric businesses, such as bike-rental outfits and donut shops, in the historic city center. Guided tours of the city’s Red Light District will be banned in January 2020, and with due credit to new government regulations, many of its cannabis “coffee shops”, the first of which dates back to 1967 have been closed. There’s even talk of charging day-trippers to set foot in the city, a bold policy recently enacted in Venice. Earlier this year the Dutch tourism board officially changed its mission from “destination promotion” to “destination management.”

Overtourism has successfully pierced the culture of the Dutch which once was not susceptible to it, it may be tagged as gedoog cultuur, or culture of permissiveness. "There’s a certain irony that many left-wing people who condemn xenophobia nonetheless talk about ‘the Chinese’ and ‘the English’—if they’re tourists, that’s seen as okay,” says Ko Koens, who studies sustainable tourism at Breda University of Applied Sciences. 

Tony Perrottet, the author of Pagan Holiday: On the Trail of Ancient Roman Tourists says that anti tourist sentiment can be traced back to the first century. He added, “The structure of tourism historically is that you have resentful locals, and rich, obnoxious, clueless intruders: the Greeks and the Romans, the Brits and the Americans, the Dutch and Germans. “But I sympathize with the Dutch. God, there’s nothing more annoying than getting stuck on Fifth Avenue between a bunch of tourists.”

The overcrowding situation is growing at an alarming rate. Netherlands is highly concerned over the deteriorating quality of life. 

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This post was published by Sony Punjabi