Amsterdam Launches Ad Urging British Tourists Seeking A ‘Messy Night’ To ‘Stay Away’

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Emily Cope Contributor
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The city of Amsterdam is sending a clear message, telling young tourists looking for a wild weekend to “stay away” in a new ad campaign.

The online campaign, which launched in recent days, deliberately targets males aged 18 to 35 when they use search engine terms like “stag party Amsterdam,” “cheap hotel Amsterdam” and “pub crawl Amsterdam.” A video ad appears warning about the consequences of excessive drinking and drug use: a criminal record, hefty fines and permanent health issues, CNN reported Wednesday

One clip shows a drunk young man getting handcuffed and escorted into a police car. “Coming to Amsterdam for a messy night + getting trashed = €140 fine + criminal record = fewer prospects,” text over the clip reads. “So coming to Amsterdam for a messy night? Stay away.”

Another video shows an unconscious person on a park bench being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. The accompanying message reads, “Lose control = hospital trip + permanent health damage = worried family. Coming for drugs? Stay away.”

The Netherlands’ capital city’s red-light district is known for attracting rowdy tourists, particularly young British men visiting for bachelor parties, pub crawls and cannabis. The ad campaign will start by geo-targeting males in the United Kingdom before eventually expanding to include visitors from other EU countries, as well.

The campaign is part of a broader move from Amsterdam city officials aimed at improving the city’s reputation. The city’s “visitor economy vision” includes earlier closing times for brothels and bars, a ban on public cannabis smoking in central Amsterdam and working with bachelor party providers to reduce “nuisance tourism,” according to a press release(RELATED: Amsterdam Banning Marijuana In Red Light District)

“Visitors will remain welcome, but not if they misbehave and cause nuisance. In that case we as a city will say: rather not, stay away,” Sofyan Mbarki, Amsterdam’s deputy mayor, said in the release.

Mbarki said that the city is doing more than other large European cities to opt for restrictions over “irresponsible growth.”

“Amsterdam is already taking lots of measures against excessive tourism and nuisance,” Mbarki said. “But we have to do even more in the coming years if we want to give tourism a sustainable place in our city.”