Amsterdam crackdown on Brits backfires as bookings leap
Amsterdam authorities send message to British tourists
While the campaign was aiming to reduce the number of Britons making the journey over to Amsterdam, data from The Stag Company, which organised parties, shows the ban has had the opposite effect.
The company reported that referrals to its site had risen by more than 4,000 percent in 24 hours and bookings had gone up by 649 percent.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Head of Marketing for The Stag Company Tom Bourlet said: “The past 24 hours has been a whirlwind, our party planners have been working relentlessly to react to the increase in quotes, as well as talking closely with suppliers in the Netherlands to make sure there are no issues regarding the rules and regulations being introduced.
“Stag groups do seem to be stigmatised and an easy target, but the majority are just friends wanting to celebrate with each other before the groom gets married.
“Our suppliers are regularly feeding back positive news about the groups we send out, so it is frustrating when they’re painted in a negative manner.”
General Manager of The Stag Company, Jordan Herbert, said: “We’re seeing unprecedented growth in sales for Amsterdam which meant we have spent of the most of day in conversations with our suppliers to make sure we can offer more dates.”
Mr Herbert added: “This clearly wasn’t the intended purpose of the campaign, but we’re very grateful as it has saved us money on advertising the destination.”
Alongside stag do bookings, inquiries for hen dos have also risen sharply since the campaign began. Hen party listing site Fizzbox said traffic for Amsterdam hen dos rose by 845 percent and quotes rose by more than 200 percent.
Managing director of Fizzbox Rob Hill said: “Amsterdam is not one of our top-selling hen destinations, nor has it been for the past five years, but this increase in sales pushes it up to first place for 2023 hen party bookings.”
Mr Hill added: “While we don’t condone anyone disrespecting local culture, we also feel the majority of our customer bases are thoughtful people looking to celebrate with their friends before getting married.”
Shortly after the campaign was launched, some residents predicted it would have the opposite impact.
Behavioural psychologist Rik Riezebos told De Telegraaf: “I don’t think starting this campaign is a wise move. You can also provoke correctly. People can have a ‘curious disbelief’ and then want to see if it is true.”
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A branch manager of Bagels and Beans said: “Of course, the council will backtrack on it.
“I don’t think it is fair as they are saying it is just a few British people and then putting them together as a whole group.”
Prostitutes in the city’s Red-Light District also opposed the crackdown.
They planned to protest over the campaign and plans by city officials to bring in earlier closing times.
Sex workers in Amsterdam said they were also protesting against a decision by officials to move the city’s red light district to large ‘erotic centres’ on the outskirts.
Femke Halsema, mayor of Amsterdam, is planning to construct a multi-storey erotic centre to replace the central red light district.
In a statement, she said: “I hope it’s possible to create an erotic centre that has some class and distinction and isn’t a place where only petty criminals and the most vulnerable women gather.”
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) fears the move could lead to “nuisance, drug dealing, drunkenness, and disorderly behaviour.”
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