British tourists successfully driven out of Amsterdam following 'stay away' campaign


There has been a significant decrease in the number of Britons travelling to the Netherlands in a sign its “stay away” campaign is working.

The country has seen a 22 per cent decline in British arrivals this year compared with 2019. Not just Britons have been warded off – global tourist arrivals to the Netherlands are down by 26 per cent.

This will likely be good news for the Dutch government which launched a “digital discouragement campaign” in March this year, aiming to deter people from using the capital for weekends of sex and drug tourism.

Online posters showed a young man getting arrested and then in a cell with the captions: “So coming to Amsterdam for a messy night? Stay away.”

It came after residents complained about tourists urinating in public, fighting in the streets and vomiting into canals.

The Dutch government also put a cap on flights to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol - mostly for environmental reasons, to reduce the sound pollution affecting those nearby.

The Dutch government launched its campaign in 2023 (Gemeente Amsterdam)
The Dutch government launched its campaign in 2023 (Gemeente Amsterdam)

The Schiphol cap looks set to become permanent from 2024 - if the European Commission approves the move, flights will be capped at 452,500 per year, which is 9.5 per cent lower than the number of flights which took place in 2019.

Netherlands’ national airline KML has said the cap was “incomprehensible” while the industry group Airlines For Europe has branded it “arbitrary and ill thought out”.

When Dutch Transport Minister Mark Harbers announced the cap’s extension into 2024, he said: "Aviation can bring the Netherlands a lot that's good, as long as we pay attention to the negative effects for people that live near the airport.”

Airlines opposed to the ban are planning to the Dutch Supreme Court, after already losing an appeal in July