Finding a place to live in Amsterdam is like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s ridiculously hard and you probably end up paying way too much for a room no bigger than Harry Potters cupboard. That Amsterdam could be a bit overloaded with people, especially tourists, wouldn’t come to you as a surprise. While we should be proud that Amsterdam is so popular, there is also a downside to this.
Maybe you have heard of the latest “Kalverstraat-incidents”. Our emergency number received some calls from people that were in serious danger: Stuck in a shop in the Kalverstraat. While shopping in the Kalverstraat is never a pleasant experience on a Saturday afternoon, you wouldn’t want to find yourself gasping for air in an overloaded H&M would you? To give a more detailed insight in this problem, last year there were already 14 million tourists in Amsterdam. I understand that tourists come here and want to enjoy the Amsterdam ambiance and everything, but If I can’t go shopping anymore because of that we have a serious problem!
Are we losing Amsterdam to the tourists?
No worries, there is a solution! And this is called “thinking outside of the ring”. Fact: People want to visit Amsterdam. But how can we attract tourists to places outside of the city center? The government tried to come up with a solution. This resulted in the Amsterdam Beach and the Amsterdam towers. If you haven’t heard of these names it is probably because you’re not a tourist. Maybe the name Zandvoort and Muiderslot will sound more familiar to you. And it doesn’t stop there. De Keukenhof is now the Amsterdam Flowers and definitely part of the must-sees in “Mokum”. Okay, so we’re fooling the tourists, who cares? Well, that’s not the only thing happening..
If we should believe Ger Jaarsma, chairman of the Dutch association of real estate agents , living in Amsterdam-East is going to have a different meaning. To attract more people to places outside of Amsterdam Ger Jaarsma thinks the solution is changing the name Almere to Amsterdam-East. While my friends have always corrected me if I said I lived in Amsterdam (because I happened to live 200 meters from Amsterdam), in a short time everyone could proudly call themselves an “Amsterdammer”.
Tricking the tourists by calling many attraction Amsterdam looks like just a pretty good city marketing strategy. But living in Amsterdam-East gets a different feeling when you’re actually living in Almere. And where does it stop? Are tourists in a couple of years visiting the Amsterdam Stones in Drenthe or floating in the Amsterdam Waters of Giethoorn? Well, if I can have a little bit of input, could we also then just change the name New York back into New Amsterdam. Maybe the OV-chipcard will also cover that?
Written by Suzanne Bohlander