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Amsterdam urges British tourists looking for a ‘messy night’ to stay away

Authorities and local residents have long endured antisocial behaviour from rowdy visitors

Amsterdam has launched a new campaign warning British tourists seeking a “messy” weekend to stay away.

Young people visiting the city for stag parties and pub crawls have long been a concern to authorities and residents due to noise complaints and antisocial behaviour.

Now, travellers attracted to the Dutch capital’s permissive culture, which includes its red light district and cannabis cafes, are being encouraged to go elsewhere.

The online campaign will be triggered when people in Britain enter key words into search engines, such as “stag party Amsterdam”, “pub crawl Amsterdam” and “cheap hotel Amsterdam”.

Warning videos will pop up, featuring young men staggering in the street, being handcuffed and finger-printed and having their mugshots taken, and describing the risks and consequences of excessive drug and alcohol consumption: fines, hospitalisation, a criminal record and permanent health damage.

The campaign is the latest in a bid to crackdown on problem visitors.

Beginning this weekend, bars and brothels will have earlier closing times, while a ban on smoking cannabis in the street in and around the Red Light District will come into effect from mid-May.

Large billboards situated around the Red Light District show pictures of residents with words reminding partygoers: “We Live Here”.

Debate about whether to ban tourists entirely from the city’s coffee shops is ongoing.

Amsterdam remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, with around 20 million visitors each year.

In 2019, 2.4 million of these were British.

Achieving the fine balance of sustainable tourism that doesn’t adversely impact residents continues to be an ongoing challenge for many popular destinations that have become victims of their own success, including Barcelona and Venice.

Deputy mayor Sofyan Mbarki said Amsterdam was already taking more management measures than other large cities in Europe.

“Visitors will remain welcome but not if they misbehave and cause nuisance,” he said.

Speaking in 2022, he added: “Action is needed to prevent nuisance and overcrowding.

“Amsterdam is a world city and bustle and liveliness come along with this but to keep our city liveable we need to choose limits instead of irresponsible growth.”

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