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The Overcrowding Canals in Amsterdam

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Photo caption: The overcrowding canals in Amsterdam (stuff, “As overtourism swamps Amsterdam, Dutch capital pushes back”, Mike Corder, 2017)

        Overtourism (analysis the example of Amsterdam)”


  • General Introduction

  1. Overtourism in Amsterdam
  1. Historical throwback at development in Amsterdam
  2. An analysis about “over tourism’s” problem
  3. Stakeholders are responsible for Amsterdam’s overtourism

  1. General view of global overtourism- phenomenon
  1. Overtourism’s meaning
  2. The roots of the overtourism
  3. Impacts of overtourism
  4. Permanent or temporary situation?
  • Introduction

In this essay the subject that is going to be discussed is the overtourism effect in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is the capital city of Neverlands located to the north east Europe with a population of 1,131,690 people. It is the fourth-most densely populated European Union city proper (3,882 people per km²). This population comes from people with 176 different nationalities, a fact that makes Amsterdam one of the most diverse cities. Amsterdam is known for many things nowadays. (Word-Population, Amsterdam Population 2018). Some of them are about the natural attraction  of the place such as the tulips ,some are about the history and the architecture and art like the Anne Frank’s home, the canals, the Van Gogh’s and Rembrandt’s  museum and galleries , some are about the cultural habits ,as an example their tendency of riding bikes and lastly some are referring to products for sale .They are known for their cheese and their well-known coffee shops where marijuana and easy drugs are legally free and also in the red light district, prostitution is legal (Odyssey, University of Kentucky, “Amsterdam is known for these 14 things). Tourism in Amsterdam is high throughout the past few years and concerned a lot of people from different scientific materials. Tourist in Amsterdam pasted the limits and create a phenomenon that is called “overtourism”.

  1. Historical throwback at the development in Amsterdam 

In order to examine the problem of tourism in Amsterdam and how did this create, it is needed to look at the growth of Amsterdam over the years. Amsterdam city was built on a barrier in the Amstel river at the late years of the 12th century. At the time from the 1585 to 1672, Amsterdam was introduced to the global world successfully through marketing progresses such as commercials. This is the reason that this period of Amsterdam was called “the golden ages”. Many characteristics landscapes of the city started to be constructed like the concentric canals in 1613 and 1663. Amsterdam was the cynosure of the international world. At the period of 1672 until 1795 called “the silver ages”, despite the French and English attack to the Dutch republic, Amsterdam remained in the spotlight financially and its success at the public market. At 1795 – 1813, Amsterdam faced a period of economic decline. Many houses were empty and in occupied and some others even destroyed. Luckily, in the period of 1813 to 1920 the economy started to recover more and more through the following years. The population started to grow mostly because of the Industrial Revolution. It seemed like a new golden age took place. Unfortunately, in 1920 until 1940, Amsterdam suffered again from an economic recession. At this time big damages did happen to the historical center however canals were filled in and new traffic invasions were realized. Even if the population of the city proper did not grow a lot, the metropolitan city swelled a lot. Amsterdam kept its international name economically but also culturally. At resend years, Amsterdam became the synonym of immigration and of the progressive and liberal city’s planning. The legal easy drugs, and the prostitution are the evidence of that liberal city’s social planning and this is the reason that Amsterdam is suffering from the overtourism phenomenon (Aalbers, M. B., & Aalbers. (2009). Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In R. Hutchinson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of urban studies.)  

1.2. An analysis about “overtourtism’s” problems

Tourism in Amsterdam grew quickly at the last years, specifically between the years from 1998 and 2007 the tourists that visit Amsterdam increased 26% and at the year 2011 statistics reveal that the city was visited from 3.66 million tourists per year Amsterdam became the eighth most popular city of the Europe. (, Amsterdam Tourism Information, 2016). However, even if Amsterdam’s natural attractions maybe be also a reason of some people to visit this city, unfortunately it is not the main reason of this large invasion of tourism that Amsterdam faced the recent years. Presently, much of Amsterdam tourism is caused because of the coffee shops and the Red-Light District. The visitors of the city are divided into two categories, the first one that is concerned about the urban design of the “Golden age” period and the second that is about the youth culture of sexual liberalism and narcotic indulgence, a radical hippie- Mecca (Elsevier, 2007, “partners in coffeeshops, canals, and commerce). Based on the statistics, in Amsterdam the residences are fewer than 1 million people, but the visitors are more than 20 each year. In 1970 up to now tourism in Amsterdam became a synonym with words like cheap drinking, available drugs, and commercial sex. Amsterdam streets are overcrowded mostly in the nights every time of the year. Residences often complain because of the noise of the well- known Amsterdam’s night clubs, and they talk about the large groups of teenagers who wander in streets drinking cheap alcohol and smoking hash or weed.  Many residences often deal with stoned teenagers riding bikes into the traffic or jumping out of buildings. Occasionally, because of the limitless use of alcohol and drugs the tourists destroy public or private property. National articles talk about the fact that even the tourists say that the tourists in Amsterdam are too many. (, Joanna Kakissis,2018). In an interview with a Dutch newspaper “Trouw”, Amsterdam described as “a lawless urban jungle” (, Joanna Whitehead,2018). Illegal taxis, stolen cars, thefts on mopeds, criminal money, noise pollution and overcrowding are only some of the problems that are identified.

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