City that’s ditching souvenir shops

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Stores selling items popular with visitors, like souvenirs, waffles and tickets will not be granted licences, in an effort to prevent the “Disneyfication” of the city, The Sun reports.

The Telegraph reported that were 280 shops catering for tourists in the town centre of the Dutch capital and locals have had enough, so no more will be allowed.

“Nowhere else in the world has such a decision been made,” Amsterdam’s deputy mayor Kajsa Ollongren, deputy mayor of Amsterdam:

“The balance is missing. We are only getting more of the same, and that is not good for our quality of life.”

Last month, the city also revealed plans to increase its tourist tax by as much as €10 ($15) a night.

The city of Amsterdam says it already has too many shops catering to tourists.

The city of Amsterdam says it already has too many shops catering to tourists.Source:News Limited

The new rates would deter buck’s weekenders and other budget city breakers from places such as the UK who are attracted to the activities in the Red Light District.

These types of tourists don’t bring much spending money, according to the local council.

“We need more people who actually spend money in the city,” city councillor Udo Kock told the Dutch newspaper Het Parool.

“We would prefer people who stay a couple of nights, visit museums, have lavish meals at restaurants, to people who pop over for a weekend eating falafel while sauntering around the red-light district.”

The city attracts enough people who are only there for a party, and it doesn’t need any more. Picture: AFP/Anoek de Groot

The city attracts enough people who are only there for a party, and it doesn’t need any more. Picture: AFP/Anoek de GrootSource:News Limited

Last year, 17 million people visited Amsterdam — that’s 20 tourists for every one of the city’s 850,000 residents.

The locals believe that they are being priced out of the city centre because of tourist accommodation.

Next year, tourists will pay a six per cent tax on the cost of their room, up from five per cent this year.

But the council is also looking at a fixed tax charge of €10 ($15), as well as a percentage of the final hotel bill.

Amsterdam is also increasing its tourist tax. Picture: AP/Peter Dejong

Amsterdam is also increasing its tourist tax. Picture: AP/Peter DejongSource:AP

In May, Amsterdam Marketing chief executive Frans van der Avert told Travel Weekly bargain-hunting tourists were damaging to cities like Amsterdam, because they only see them as party destinations.

Instead of buying tickets to museums and meals in nice restaurants, the visitors were instead spending all of their money on alcohol and cheap fast food.

He said they had given up marketing Amsterdam as a destination because they didn’t want any more visitors.

“A lot of smaller historic cities in Europe are getting destroyed by visitors,” van der Avert said.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

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