The Netherlands is a country famous for clogs, windmills, and tulips. It’s a relatively small country that borders with the North Sea — with an area size of just above 16,000 square miles, it’s around the size of Maryland. However, this has not stopped them from attracting 18 million tourists a year. Estimates show this number will increase by 50% in the following ten years. This means that, by 2030, nearly 30 million people will flock to the Kingdom of the Low Countries.
These numbers, as great as they sound, are actually a burden. Due to overcrowding concerns and loss of what the Dutch government calls ‘quality tourism’, they’ve published a document Prospective 2030 in which they state they will move away from promoting country tourism.
With so many visitors visiting the country, local communities have found it a struggle to deal with such a vast amount of tourists. The Dutch village of Kinderdijk is under the Unesco patronage thanks to its famous 18th-century windmills. Kinderdijk locals complain that tourists affect their personal lives — often recklessly invading private property and ordering them around so that they could take a better picture.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands’ capital and the largest city, faces the same issues. It’s a beautiful city reminiscent of Italy’s Venice — the city is placed on 90 islands divided by canals and connected by over 1200 bridges. Despite the beauty of the city and its famous museums (such as the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum), the majority of tourist are there for more corporeal reasons.
Amsterdam has gained quite a bit of popularity due to its lenient approach towards people who wish to freely use marijuana and spend some time with daughters of the night. The famous Red Light District is a district filled with prostitution parlors. Starting from 2020, the government will place a ban on organized tours of the District.
The Perspective 2030 means that, rather than focusing on tourism, they will turn their heads to developing their country’s livability and sustainability. In their words, they will try to attract only ‘quality tourists’, as opposed to those who are just looking for a bit of cheap fun and don’t add actual value.