Your Questions About Amsterdam Tourism

George asks…

If Amsterdam got rid of all its coffee shops that sell marijuana, would that hurt its tourism?

If all the places in Amsterdam and Holland got rid of every place that sells cannabis and other drugs, how would that affect the tourism there? and why?

Yaz answers:

Let me get the facts straight first:
No drugs are legal in the Netherlands, and only Weed/Marijuana/Hash or however you want to call it, is officially ignored, and that only if many rules are followed.
The rules go for the whole country, not just Amsterdam, although municipalities can keep a tighter check on the sales if there is a lot of problems. (Holland is the nickname of the country, the Netherlands the English version of the official name.)

I think given a few years to get the news to spread the net result in number of visitors will stay the same or go up.
At this time only one in four of the foreign visitors uses the coffee shops, and most of them only for a small amount. I guess most of those people will keep coming to Amsterdam.
The rest, the ones that get stoned out of their heads each day here can not put a lot of money into the legal economy, as most of their money disappears into the black hole behind the coffee shops, the illegal economy.

And right now Amsterdam has an unjustified bad reputation abroad, when that reputation is replaced by the real, clean and good reputation that will be true then, people who avoid Amsterdam now will come too, likely rising the visitor numbers higher than they are now, with all of the money coming in going into the legal economy.

Donald asks…

When is the drug tourism ban in Amsterdam coming into force?

Apparently the coffee shops in Holland are going to become members only clubs to stop drug tourism but when will that be happening. I’m looking into going there with my friend in january 2011 just for 3 days.

Yaz answers:

It is only talked about as a proposal for law that still has to be written. As such there is no date known yet.
Mostly things like this are not arranged within a few months, but as drugs are illegal, they do not have to change the law, just have to get new directions in use.
This gouvernment has been quick in changing some things, like formalizing changes in the ban on smoking tobacco to what had become practice over the last few months.

I guess that you will still be good to go in January 2011, but there are no guaranties.

Paul asks…

Is using prostitutes as a Main Attraction for tourism in Amsterdam wrong?

i mean yes it is effective, but what i’m talking about is that they use prostitution to grow their economy or maybe give employment but on the other hand they fail to give women employment in respectable areas that they have to resort to prostitution for sustainment. Not to mention that they have health checks which caused 7% prostitutes have AIDS which think will continuously spread.
I’m asking many think that it is morally wrong, unhealthy, based on facts and the long term effects (and or the social stigma regarding women and Amsterdam)

Yaz answers:

There is more to Amsterdam than prostitutes.

Amsterdam (help·info) (IPA: [ɑmstərˡdɑm]) is the capital of the Netherlands. Its name is derived from “Amstel dam”, pointing to the city’s origin: a dam on the river Amstel. The city is known for its historic port, the Rijksmuseum, its red-light district (de Wallen), its liberal coffeeshops, and its many canals which have led to Amsterdam being called the “Venice of the North”. During the Dutch Golden Age, Amsterdam was one of the most important ports in the world, with innovative developments in trade, and became the leading centre for finance and diamonds.

The city, founded in the late 12th century as a small fishing village, has grown to become the largest city in the Netherlands with a population of 743,104 inhabitants, containing at least 172 nationalities.

The canals are Amsterdam’s biggest attraction: last year, over 3 million people enjoyed a sightseeing canal cruise. Find out more about Canal Company and its various ways of exploring the ‘grachten’.

Linda asks…

Is Amsterdam generally perceived as a drug tourism destination?

If so…does this discourage other tourists from visiting Amsterdam?

Yaz answers:

Unfortunately there is an element who do indeed only associate Amsterdam with drugs and prostitutes…. So you get the “all drugs are legal” story from those people, and bizarely that “everyone” wants to smoke marijuana….. Hands up those who enjoy Amsterdam without smoking and you will see it is not “everyone”.

Also, no drugs are legal. Weed/marijuana is tolerated under given conditions and other drugs are absolutely illegal and acted upon

Normally it is the ones who are interested in drugs and/or prostitutes anyway that form this association with Amsterdam and then perpetuate it.

Actually Amsterdam is so much more, and fortunately many tourists also recognise this and come for this. For example there are 50+ museums alone in Amsterdam, more shopping than you could do in a lifetime, art & science, architecture, science attractions, many tourist attractions such as the Anne Frank house, a zoo, a great nightlife, lots of different cuisines and fun places to eat & drink….. Well I could go on!

Of course it is not to rule out the stereotypes. Actually it can be interesting wandering around the red light district. At least then you can see it first hand and some of the stigma usually disappears. Same for coffeeshops – if people want to go and have a quiet smoke, then why not experience it? – emphasis on the “quiet”.

It is the gangs (of usually youngish guys) that come to Amsterdam intent on getting plastered (drunk) and then mix that with getting zombified on weed – and then start touring around. They are usually asking for trouble and quiet frankly are a pain in the (you know where). These are the ones which give a bad reputation, and the ones that locals also dispair of.

On a Saturday night, I have personally dodged my fair share of them!

So I hope that people come, visit Amsterdam, enjoy what is on offer (whatever their tastes) in a relaxed manner, and those that want to cause problems or get of their heads, – stay at home. This to me is more of an issue than the fact that you can buy marijuana/weed in Amsterdam, and if I was not a local – this would be the thing that would put me off re-visiting again. However, this is not unique to Amsterdam either in my experience.

Thomas asks…

If California Legalizes Marijuana, Will Amsterdam’s Tourism Fall?

Jeez Onegrtch, what are you talking about? California might legalize marijuana, medical marijuana is already widely available there.

Yaz answers:

Aha, Fred, a phony libertarian. Your statement just showed your ignorance and your payment of lip service to platitudes. And just exactly WHERE should the government get out of our lives, a pathetically trite and worthless idea.

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