A decade ago Amsterdam pumped money into tourism to recover from the global financial crisis but – even as the city bans ‘beer bikes’ – can it be saved from a monster industry of its own making?
Last weekend, Els Iping caught a group of male tourists ripping out the shrub in front of her house in the centre of Amsterdam. They were wearing pink dresses and they were very drunk. “These kind of things happen all the time,” she says matter-of-factly. “It’s worse when they throw up in your plant boxes, because you can’t rinse it away– you have to scoop it out.”
Over the last 10 years, Iping – a 64-year-old, stylishly dressed consultant – has witnessed her picturesque neighbourhood change due to an unparalleled growth in the number of visitors. “Every day throngs of tourists pass by my window. The weekend now starts on Thursday afternoon; the screaming and shouting of tourists boozing it up is deafening. And the rubbish they leave behind!”
Source: The Guardian