Hospitality businesses in Amsterdam have criticised an advertising campaign seeking to deter young British men from visiting the city for a “messy night”.
The Dutch city’s council has launched online adverts which urge Britons to “stay away” if they are looking for hedonism.
They depict young men staggering in the street, being handcuffed by police and being carried into the back of an ambulance.
The message – that a long weekend in Amsterdam could turn into a living nightmare which creates all types of bad memories – appears uncompromising.
The adverts, which will be triggered when Britons type in terms such as “stag party”, “cheap hotel” or “pub crawl Amsterdam”, attempt to highlight the risks associated with excessive drinking.
However, the move was criticised by restaurant and cafe owners who said it unfairly singled out Britons.
The manager of a branch of the Bagels & Beans restaurant chain told the PA news agency: “I think it is sad. Everyone is welcome.
“Of course the council will backtrack on it. I don’t think it is fair as they are saying it is just a few British people and then putting them all together as a whole group.”
The manager of Cafe Brecht, a bar near the Rijksmuseum, told PA: “I don’t think really this is about British tourists. Many tourists are loud.
“I think it is not a secret that Amsterdam is often a destination for parties, it is famous for its coffee shops and sex tourism.
“That kind of tourism is often a bit more party oriented than those who come here for the Rijksmuseum.
“I couldn’t agree that it is linked to nationality. German tourists are just the same. If someone is here for a party, they will party. I love the British personally.
“I do get that you want to protect people living in the Red Light district, we should not turn it into a complete Disney park but I sometimes think Amsterdam has reduced in liberality in recent years.”
Bruce Njumire, 22, who runs a branch of the Burgemeester burger chain, said: “I think they (the council) have got a point. It is mostly British tourists who come here to have a good time.
“The image of Amsterdam isn’t that good, it is not great for the city.
“I am not sure what the effects on business will be but I am assuming the overall safety of the city improves and therefore hospitality will not suffer that much. I don’t think it will affect restaurants and hospitality that much.
“Obviously it is not only British people but they are the most common, that’s why they picked it out.”
The Association of British Travel Agents said: “Amsterdam is one of Europe’s great cities with beautiful architecture, welcoming people and is enjoyed by many British travellers.
“Abta would always recommend that visitors respect the destinations they visit and also treat the local people with respect.”
The move comes after the president of Lanzarote, Maria Dolores Corujo, suggested the island should seek to attract “higher-quality” tourists and rely less on Britons.
Last year, the local council in Magaluf, Spain, launched a bid to rebrand the resort as an upmarket holiday destination.
The Dutch tourist board and travel operator Tui did not wish to comment. EasyJet and Ryanair were contacted for comment.
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