Destinations

Amsterdam mulls ban on tourists buying cannabis

Amsterdam is considering banning tourists from buying cannabis products from its famous coffee shops.

The city’s mayor, Femke Halsema, is seeking to reduce the number of visitors to the crowded red-light areas by revealing a third of foreign tourists and nearly half of its British tourism trade would cease if they were barred from buying cannabis.

Amsterdam is beginning to buckle under the masses of visitors to the city centre, to the point where its attractions have ceased to be promoted, according to the Guardian.

See also: Amsterdam launches new campaign to ban excessive “puking” partiers

17 million tourists flood the city each year, which is about 16 times its population. To prevent disruption to locals, Halsema has announced her intention to implement a plan to reduce the attraction of drug use to tourists, dissuading them from taking advantage of its policy of tolerance towards cannabis.

Halsema is using stats from a survey from Amsterdam’s research, information and statistics office to win political backing by revealing the intentions of tourists if they were to ban them from buying cannabis products.

The survey participants included 100 visitors aged between 18 and 35. The majority said coffee shops played an important role in their choice to travel to Amsterdam.

34 per cent of international tourists said they would visit the city less if they were not allowed to buy the products including 42 per cent of British tourists. 40 per cent said they would no longer use the products if they were banned, 22 per cent said they would let someone else go buy it for them and 18 per cent said they would find another way to buy it.

The city also announced last week that group tours through the main Wallen red-light district would be banned from 1 April and all other guided tours would require a permit.

The deputy mayor for economic affairs, Victor Everhardt, said the red-light district tours had been banned because it was “disrespectful to treat sex workers as a tourist attraction”, according to the Guardian.

City council also voted to cap the size of group tours to 15 people and ban them from stopping in busy places or face a €190 ($322) fine.

Featured image credit: iStock.com/sbostock


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