Cannabis culture certainly isn’t the only reason to visit Amsterdam, but it’s top-of-mind for many visitors to the city — but not for long.
In an effort to combat overtourism, Amsterdam has already prevented new shops aimed at tourists from opening in its historic center, cracked down on Airbnbs in several districts, banned guided tours of the red-light district and now, it wants to ban foreign visitors from coffeeshops (weed cafes) once international travel resumes.
Recently, Femke Halsema, the city’s mayor, released a plan wherein only Dutch residents would be allowed to enter Amsterdam’s 166 coffeeshops. Halsema said in a statement, “Amsterdam is an international city and we wish to attract tourists, but for its richness, beauty and cultural institutions.”
According to CNN, in a 2019 survey that questioned 1,100 international visitors between the ages of 18 and 35 in Amsterdam, 57 percent said coffeeshops were an important part of them visiting the city, while 34 percent said that they wouldn’t visit as often if they weren’t able to go to coffeeshops, and 11 percent said they wouldn’t visit the city at all.
The ban, which would start in 2022, would be an attempt to keep tourism in the city more manageable and to combat organized crime. A similar ban already exists in Maastricht in the south.