Less Brits in Amsterdam, but do they feel welcome?



According to figures of the ATCB (Amsterdam Toerisme en Congres Bureau) featured in the latest paper copy of Amsterdams Stadsblad, less Brits are coming to Amsterdam to the tune of 6% less in 2008. The main culprit is the dropping pound, which is almost equal to the euro (1 GBP today is worth EUR 1.046 as I write this – hey guys, wanna finally have the euro?). Let’s face it, it’s time to visit London now… and I actually wanted to go to Dublin, but hey.

Many cafes in downtown Amsterdam which specifically cater to a UK-oriented audience have seen their clientele shrink. The article mentions that the usual Brits and Irish who frequent such places are mostly expats rather than tourists. Apparently, the talk of the pub is that the Dutch media negatively portrays Brits (and yes, I’m assuming the Irish, Scots and Welsh, too, though I could be wrong) as ‘loud, annoying drunks’. Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen even said on television in England that this group of Brits were not welcome. Now, picture the hard-working, decent expats at the pub with their pints rightly complaining that everyone is being depicted as idiots, like the media tends to do with ethnic minorities. Imagine the average Dutch person believing the newspaper they pay money to have delivered to their house and you have an image problem.

Why would any British tourist (or British pound user) want to come if they don’t feel welcome? What part of hospitality is the part where you insult a badly behaving minority to piss off the majority you’re trying to woo to your nation’s capital?

UPDATE: BBC four films in Amsterdam and gets Job Cohen’s opinion on camera.
Amsterdam plans ‘cannabis clean up’.


  1. jon says:

    Just to clarify, Great Britain is a union of countries, England, Wales, Scotland and the province of Northern Ireland. You’re confusing Brits with the English, a common mistake. It’s like referring to Americans when you mean Texans.

    Oh and Britain has had a central bank, a single currency and open borders for a lot longer than Europe, so all the arguments here against the EU and the Euro are bogus. But I doubt we’ll be joining the Euro any time soon. Wait until it’s profitable for Rupert Murdoch, then you’ll see a change in ‘public opinion’.

  2. Orangemaster says:

    Oh no, not this explanation again! Trust me, we at 24 know all of this, you can quiz us!

    I’m not confusing anything, the article was. And that’s why I put all those things in brackets. The Dutch can’t hear the difference in accents in general.

    Remember, this is a place that now knows where Wales is because of Torchwood :)

    And I’m Canadian – I so get all that.

    The question – and astonishment – is does the Dutch media know this?

  3. Jeroen Mirck says:

    @Jon: Brits and English, that’s just like mistaking Holland for the Netherlands (i.e.: North and South Holland are provinces). It doesn’t matter for the debate. Everybody *outside* Great Britain understands it. ;)

  4. Darth Paul says:

    “The Dutch can’t hear the difference in accents in general.”
    But call a Flem a Dutchman and you better be ready for mortal combat, eh?

    Most of the ‘unwelcome’ feelings have mostly to do with the fact that Amsterdam is still viewed by kids as a giant playground; and tourist trappy areas like Leidseplein and RLD practically encourage that mentality, much to the disgust of the average A’dam citizen. Vicious circle or summink.

  5. jon says:

    No problem chaps, I’m glad you do know. I was thinking of teh internets, when other folk wonder in here, they might learn what we know.

  6. […] Just as mayor Cohen thought he was getting rid of a certain type of British tourist… […]

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