Amsterdam, famous for its canals, 'coffee' shops and Red Light District is considering to ban tourists from buying cannabis under strict new rules aimed at cleaning up the city’s overcrowded De Wallen, which houses the infamous Red Light District. The town mayor, Femke Halsema is investigating measures to deter tourists from overcrowding the canal-side streets of the city centre.
Halsema recently commissioned a study which is finding as to how many people are attracted to the city because of the coffee shops which sell cannabis. The survey which was conducted by Research, Information and Statistics Department found that 34 per cent of people would visit the city less often and 11 per cent would never go again if they were barred from entering its coffee shops.
Talking about British citizens, 42 per cent said they would visit the city less frequently and 12 per cent claimed they would never return. Out of the 42 per cent who said would keep coming, 40 per cent said they would refrain from using cannabis. Those remaining who would continue to use the drug said they would find another way to buy it, including letting someone else go into the coffee shop.
The study also found that walking and cycling through the city was the main reason for people to visit the city (32 per cent) followed by the coffee shops (22 per cent). However, the study showed that for British nationals, cannabis sold at the coffee shops was the most frequent reason for returning to the Dutch city (33 per cent) followed by walking or cycling through the city less ((21 per cent) and (11 per cent).
Adding to the ban on the sale of cannabis the city’s government has also announced a ban on guided tours of the red light district in a bid to tackle over-tourism and protect workers in the red light district which are often harassed by tourists, international media reported.