• Transform magazine
  • August 18, 2019

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Amsterdam in over its head with tourism

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Over the past few years, the number of tourists visiting Netherlands’ picturesque capital, Amsterdam, has dramatically increased, with the city expecting over 18m visitors this year, a number that is believed to reach 30m in 2025.

For many countries, tourism is what sustains the economy. However when not controlled, over-tourism can have the opposite effect. Addressing the rising issue of over-tourism in Amsterdam, online travel specialist TravelBird has released an analysis of the effect of over-tourism across Amsterdam’s neighbourhoods, based on the ‘City Survey of Crowdedness and Balance' by the Office of International Services (OIS).

Amsterdam’s over-tourism raises a bigger issue in the branding industry, that of overzealous place branding. As the example in Netherlands shows, place branding can be such thing as too successful, resulting in crowds far too big for the areas to handle arriving at popular destinations in an alarming frequency.

Over-tourism, however, isn’t a phenomenon found only in Amsterdam. Many cities around the world suffer from it, with Venice, Italy and Paris, France being only few examples. To deal with the overpopulation, cities have occasionally tried different methods, such as limiting the transportation to the suffering cities, collaborating with stakeholders to plan and manage tourism, as well as significantly cutting down on the city’s marketing and advertising, especially during peak seasons.

Steven Klooster, CEO at TravelBird, says, “As a travel provider it is our responsibility to think long-term about sustainability for the future of travel. We are reducing the number of trips we offer to overbooked cities and increasing our variety so that our travellers can enjoy and explore other cities less affected.”

To educate people regarding responsible tourism and offer a solution to the fast-emerging problem, TravelBird studied thoroughly OIS’ study in order to further understand the impact over-tourism has on the city and its residents. Following a general analysis, TravelBird focused on the data that showed the differences between every district separately from 2016 to 2017.

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