DutchAmsterdam.nl — Tourists tend to rate Amsterdammers as both tolerant and helpful, but many expats have a hard time adjusting — and want to leave the city barely one year after settling here.
A perceived lack of hospitality is mentioned as the top reason, research commissioned by the City of Amsterdam shows.
90.000 foreigners make their home in Amsterdam. That is 12 percent of the population.
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Twenty-five percent of them quits after a year — up from twenty percent three years ago.
Foreign workers are of great economic importance to the city, writes Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool.
The Amsterdam region includes 1830 international companies with a combined total of 135.000 employees. Together they spend 4 billion euros in the region, 10 percent more than Amsterdammers spend.
In choosing where to establish foreign branches multinational pay much attention to the wishes and well-being of their employees.
And while Mercer Consulting earlier this year ranked Amsterdam 13th in its annual listing of ‘most liveable cities,’ the city must become more hospitable to foreigners, says Amsterdam International Crossings — a new coalition of business organizations that includes Oram, the ExpatCenter and the Chamber of Commerce.
In the global quest to attract highly skilled workers Amsterdam risks losing the battle, says Oran director Jack Steyn. “In recent years we see that cities like Barcelona, Madrid and Munich overtake us.”
Foreigners complain about the poor level of service in general and the sometimes boorish behavior of shop personnel — something native Amsterdammers also decry. [See: Service — Or How to Survive Amsterdam Stores and Other Businesses].
They also don’t like to be sent from pillar to post by public agencies.
Amsterdam International Crossings intends to develop initiatives that will help foreigners feel more at home in Amsterdam.
It wants to help lessen the culture shock experienced by foreigners — both by educating the expats about the Dutch way of doing it and by encouraging the Dutch to improve in areas that, more often than not, the Dutch themselves also would like to see improved.
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