The financial crisis has, in combination with the strong Euro, led to a sharp reduction in the number of tourists coming to the Netherlands.
Already in November last year 12% fewer British and American visitors came to Amsterdam via Schiphol airport.
During the same month the number of people visiting tourist attractions in Amsterdam dropped by 13.3%, says Lodewijk Asscher, Amsterdam’s deputy mayor of economic affairs.
The hotel and horeca sectors of industry are affected by the the dip. Many hotels have resorted to deep discounts. In December hotel rates were between 10 and 25 percent lower than at the end of 2007. In January, traditionally the quietest month in the hotel sector, discounts offered by many hotels ranged between 50 and 80 percent.
The other side of the coin
The fall of the British Pound against the Euro does have a silver lining, at least for those who live and work in Amsterdam’s Red Light District: the area sees far fewer British ‘stag night’ tourists of the ‘pour-in-the-alcohol-and-I-will-behave-like-a-moron’ variety.
The youngsters are notorious for traveling in packs, getting drunk (and preferably high as well) fast and then behaving like idiots — yelling at the top of their voices, peeing against whichever obstacle they like (or, at times, in someone’s mail slot), waiving their privates at the prostitutes (who are unimpressed) and picking fights with all and sundry. If they don’t swagger into a canal first.
Certainly not everyone from over there acts this way, but too many of them do.
What currently keeps them away in droves is the lousy exchange rate.
According to local newspaper Het Parool, Brits visiting Amsterdam in February 2007 paid £2,96 for a pint, vs. £3,93 now.
The British Pound back then bought a Euro and a half, but only just over one Euro today — making a visit to the Red Light District too expensive for most.
One night’s stay in a hostel went for £9,15 in 2007, but costs £12,15 today.
In 2007, a joint set them back £1,67 — vs £2,60 now.
Breakfast: £5,60 then, and £7,43 now.
A visit with a prostitute would, in February 2007, set you back £32,90. Current rate: £43,70.
[Want these rates in your own currency? Use this currency converter.]
Reportedly, the ‘stag night’ crowd has moved to Prague. You have been warned.
For the rest of you, here are some free Amsterdam tourist attractions.
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