If you’re a young British man planning a stag party in Amsterdam involving booze and drugs, be warned, as an online advert targeting you may appear on your search results telling you to ‘stay away’.
The “discouragement” advertising has started in the Dutch capital to put off young British men who visit to drink and take drugs. The videos, targeting men aged between 18 and 35 seen as possible “nuisance tourists”, will pop up if they search the internet to plan stag, cannabis or drinking trips.
The ‘Stay Away’ campaign is deemed to be the first of its kind, reported the The Times as young Britons are seen as the principal menace to peace and quiet Amsterdam’s idyllic 17th and 18th-century streets.
Sofyan Mbarki, Amsterdam’s deputy mayor in charge of tourism said: “Visitors will remain welcome, but not if they misbehave and cause nuisance. In that case, we as a city will say - rather not, stay away.”
According to The Times, one video shows a drunk young man smashing glass and yelling at police before he is handcuffed and arrested. It says: “Coming to Amsterdam for a messy night and getting trashed = €140 fine + criminal record = fewer prospects.”
Another video shows a youth being taken away in an ambulance unconscious after taking too many drugs. It says: “Lose control = hospital trip + permanent health damage = worried family. Coming for drugs? Stay away.”
The report said Britons who search terms such as “stag party Amsterdam”, “cheap hotel Amsterdam” and “pub crawl Amsterdam” will be automatically shown the video warnings. The city council said: “Warnings about the risks and possible consequences will discourage some of the visitors.”
The campaign is the beginning of a long-term plan of keeping tourism below 10 million overnight stays every year in the city after numbers have almost doubled from 5.3 million in 2010.
Mbarki said: “Amsterdam is already taking lots of measures against excessive tourism and nuisance, and we are taking more measures than other large cities in Europe. But we have to do even more in the coming years if we want to give tourism a sustainable place in our city.
“Amsterdam is a metropole and crowds and bustle are inherent features, but to keep our city liveable we now have to choose for restriction instead of irresponsible growth.”