Amsterdam launches ‘Stay Away’ campaign to discourage certain types of tourism

The city has a reputation as an “anything goes” place due to its lax attitude towards sex, drugs and alcohol. This was exploited by tourists and is now a problem. Authorities are now trying to reclaim the city for its citizens by asking some tourists to “Stay away”.

Sofyan Mbarki, the deputy mayor of Amsterdam, stressed the importance of taking action. “We must act to prevent nuisance and overcrowding. Amsterdam is a global city, and bustle and liveliness go hand in hand, but to keep our city livable we must choose boundaries over irresponsible growth.

The “Stay Clear” campaign will attempt to reduce visitor numbers in the spring of 2023 by discouraging several popular recreational activities. The following types of tourists will be restricted from entry:

Cannabis and drug tourists

Amsterdam is known for its cafes where customers can buy and consume marijuana and other “soft drugs”. There are 92 cafes in the city center alone.

The city has implemented ideas to deter marijuana and drug tourism. Smoking cannabis on the street in tourist areas may be prohibited by ordinance. Even stricter measures could be taken, such as banning weekend sales in the red light district.

Batch parties

One of the most popular stag parties in Europe are the streets of Amsterdam. An accessible sex trade coexists with a bustling bar scene in the city’s famous red light district.

The city aims to discourage such visitors by imposing earlier closing times for bars and brothels and banning organized pub crawls.

sex tourists

In Amsterdam, prostitution has been licensed and regulated by the Dutch government for over 20 years. For this reason, the city is now a popular destination for sex tourism worldwide, which has led to a thriving sex industry. The red light district is home to sex shops, brothels, peep shows and strip clubs.

Plans for earlier closing times and restrictions on businesses in the red light district are meant to signal to sex tourists that they are no longer welcome in the city.


Authorities in Amsterdam are taking steps to curb overtourism and avoid unwanted visitors. By introducing a tourist cap, they are trying to limit the total number of visitors to 20 million. A tourist tax may also be introduced, as well as restrictions on popular river cruises and guided group tours. Regulations on short-term rentals also need to be tightened.

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