Fun could be over in popular party city
OFFICIALS in Amsterdam hope to crack down on excessive party antics from locals and tourists alike, as residents claim that increasing numbers of merrymakers are ravaging their city like a "naughty Disneyland" and bringing down the general quality of life for all.
Last week, a former deputy mayor for the city of Amsterdam suggested that local politicians currently in office even consider banning buck's parties and their "drunk, puking" mischief altogether, Fox News reported.
"Amsterdam can better focus on banning groups of drunk, puking bachelor parties, for example from England. That is what really causes trouble," Frits Huffnagel, a former official, told The Sun.
Mr Huffnagel further claimed bachelor parties in the historic, canal-laced city have been getting more and more "out of hand" in recent years as they attract revellers from all over Europe.
Though fewer than one million people call Amsterdam home, more than 20 million tourists are estimated to have visited by the end of 2018.
Meanwhile, a city rep said though Amsterdam welcomed tourists from all walks of life, change was needed - and plans to restrict the all-too-frequent consequences of excessive partying were set in motion back in May.
"Amsterdam is an open and tolerant city that welcomes everyone, but of course we do like our visitors to behave themselves when visiting. That's why we started the campaign 'Enjoy & Respect'," Amsterdam city spokesman Lisa den Oudendammer told Fox.
In May, a new city coalition government proposed the campaign, which includes a slew of serious measures to crack down any out-of-control behaviour in the night-life hotspot.
From restricting beer bikes, Segway rides and boozy boat trips to diverting cruise ships from docking in the city's centre and altogether banning Airbnb hosts from creating short-term rentals in the most chaotic areas, the campaign means business.
In addition, a widespread "tourist tax" is set to leap from roughly 5 per cent to 7 per cent, which is estimated to generate $148 million a year by 2022. A $370,000 campaign called "Enjoy and Respect" is also set to combat problematic behaviour.
Meanwhile, hefty fines for various kinds of depravity - penalties of $150 for public intoxication, and $230 a pop for urinating in a canal, disturbing the peace, or littering - intend to curb bad behaviour.
While the measures may seem intense, Amsterdammers say such reform is a long time coming - and much needed.
"It's a city where freedom is important and you have to accept a degree of nuisance, but it's now out of hand," Stephen Hodes of the independent think tank Amsterdam in Progress told The Sun.
"The crux of the problem is that there are too many tourists. The only thing to do is to take radical measures, otherwise, it's a consumption ghetto, not a city where people live."
Meanwhile, two college-age tourists openly acknowledged that many in their age group treat the storied city like a "naughty Disneyland," NPR reports.
"People our age come here because the flights are cheap and Amsterdam has this reputation of being a kind of Sin City," Londoner Callum Challinor, 18, told the outlet.
"But we won't. We're just here for the weekend, and we want to remember it," his girlfriend Emillie Whitelock, 19, said.
"Even my parents told us to go to the Red Light District."
Things are apparently so bad that the local council has proposed removing the city's famed "I Amsterdam" signs from around the city - which, ironically, were erected in 2004, in hopes of improving tourism.
Amsterdam's exhausted politicians, residents and law enforcement officials share similar sentiments with locals in Venice and Barcelona, where many are fed up with so-called "over-tourism."
This article originally appeared on Fox News and was reproduced with permission.