Amsterdam has long been a draw for millions of tourists from Europe and beyond, with many attracted to the city for its canals, architecture and museums and, of course, its plentiful cannabis-laden coffeeshops and unabashed sex industry.
But Europe’s so-called “city of sin” has not been the same since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, with tourism numbers sharply lower than previous years when the Netherlands’ capital could expect millions of visitors per year.
While many locals are loving the fact that they can wander and cycle through their city without dodging hoards of tourists, Amsterdam businesses that rely on visitors — such as coffeeshops, where cannabis can be openly bought and sold — are feeling the pinch, and there are fears that local authorities could soon clamp down further on their foreign customers.
“It’s been a quiet year, definitely,” Ben, who works at Barney’s Coffeeshop, told CNBC on Wednesday. “Obviously [it’s better] compared to last summer with the corona[virus], but this year it started getting busy but it’s still nothing compared to the years before. Only really French tourists have been coming over, French and Germans, not many English, not many Italians anymore.”
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Published: September 10, 2021