If you’re thinking of heading to Amsterdam soon, be warned: you can now cop massive fines for anti-social behaviour.
A campaign has just been launched with an aim of making the city easier for locals to live in after the former deputy mayor of Amsterdam said that the city should ban bachelor parties altogether.
“Amsterdam can better focus on banning groups of drunk, puking bachelor parties, for example from England. That is what really causes trouble,” Frits Huffnagel, a former official, told The Sun earlier this month.
But it’s not just bachelor parties that could get you in trouble: public drunkenness will earn you a fine of $150, while disturbing the peace in public places, littering and urinating in a canal all equal a fine of $225. But if you’re urinating in a canal, you definitely deserve it.
The fines are part of a $360,000 city-wide campaign called Enjoy & Respect, which was proposed in May this year.
There’s also a range of other proposals to crack down on Amsterdam’s nuisance tourism problem, which the new city coalition government announced earlier this year. These included measures like banning Airbnb short-term rentals in busy areas and limiting activities like boozy boat parties, Segway tours and beer bikes.
The tourist tax is also set to rise by up to seven per cent, which will raise £80million (AU$147 million) a year by 2022, Fox News reported.
Speaking to Fox News about the new campaign, Amsterdam city spokesperson Lisa den Oudendammer said that while tourists are welcome in the city, change is needed.
“Amsterdam is an open and tolerant city that welcomes everyone, but of course we do like our visitors to behave themselves when visiting. That’s why we started the campaign ‘Enjoy & Respect,’” she said.
And the citizens of Amsterdam agree – residents have complained that tourism in the city has become “out of hand” due to overtourism and excessive partying, according to The Sun.
“It’s a city where freedom is important and you have to accept a degree of nuisance, but it’s now out of hand,” Stephen Hodes of the independent thinktank Amsterdam in Progress told The Sun.
“The crux of the problem is that there are too many tourists. The only thing to do is to take radical measures, otherwise, it’s a consumption ghetto, not a city where people live.”