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Amsterdam to ban cruise ships from city center in latest crackdown on overtourism World news

Amsterdam has banned cruise ships from docking in the city center in its latest attempt to reduce tourism and pollution.

Politicians in the Dutch capital said the cruise ships were “at odds” with their sustainability ambitions for the city, which, despite its relatively small size, is one of the most visited in Europe.

It comes after the Dutch capital Launched the “Stay Away” campaign in March. In an effort to stop people – especially young British men – from choosing the city as a party and stag destination.

Also in February, the Council Banning people from smoking cannabis on the streets in the city’s famous red light district and ordered bars and restaurants to remain closed until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Amsterdam’s Red Light District

The cruise ship ban will close the city’s main terminal on the IJ River near Amsterdam’s main train station.

The proposal was adopted by a large majority of the city council, which is run by the centrist Democrats 66 party (D66), the social democratic PvdA and the GroenLinks coalition of environmentalists.

D66 politician Ilana Roderkirk, who compared cruise passengers to a “plague of locusts” in a poll last month, said Amsterdam would “travel better” without cruise ships.

“A polluting cruise does not fit Amsterdam’s sustainability ambitions,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Cruise ships in the city center are also not up to the task of dealing with mass tourism.”

His party said plans to build a new bridge between Amsterdam’s historic South district and the Nord district would also be impossible if cruise ships were allowed to continue docking in the city centre.

Alternative locations for cruise ships have been considered, although no decision has yet been made on where it might be based.

Mayor Femke Halsema, from the GroenLinks party, complained about the cruise ship passengers in an interview with Dutch media in November.

He said they did not benefit city dwellers as they only visited “for several hours”, dined at “international brands” and had “little time” to visit museums.

Dutch Green Left Party leader Femke Halsema is seen as she waits for Dutch Queen Beatrix to officially open the new parliamentary year by outlining the government's plans and budget policies for 2009 at the Parliament's Knights Hall in The Hague, Netherlands.
Femke hilsima. Photo: AP

Ms Hilsema, the city’s first female mayor, has been the face of Amsterdam’s campaign to clean up its streets, which despite the city’s relatively small size welcomes 22 million tourists a year.

Its reputation as a party city, with its cannabis cafes and historic red light district, makes it a popular destination for stag dos.

In a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg last year, he said: “Amsterdam welcomes 22 million tourists every year, and that’s a bit much.

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“It’s not a form of tourism that we welcome or don’t welcome – it’s a form of behaviour. What we don’t welcome are people who come here on holidays out of morality.

“This is a place you should go if you’re looking for a beautiful museum, or want to see underground culture, or if you want to participate in our pride.”

Amsterdam is not the first European city to ban cruise ships from its city center.

Venice banned cruise ships from its city center in April 2021 following a request from the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO.

While Barcelona has not banned cruise ships outright, it has made efforts to limit the number that call at its docks.

It wants to reduce the number of cruise passengers from 400,000 a month to 200,000.

Source by [Sky News]



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