a bicycle on a bridge over a canal

Fly me to the moon, right?

Amsterdam is a must for any traveler. From the picturesque Delft houses along dreamy canal bridges to literally priceless works of art, and a burgeoning food scene – plus some naughtiness on display, there’s literally something for everyone.

But travel is changing right now, arguably more than it ever has and “the great pause” has many cities and countries questioning if the way they were attracting visitors is the way they’d still like to be attracting visitors in the future.

In The Netherlands, and more specifically, Amsterdam, it appears the answer is no, as the city aims to limit or ban cannabis tourism from next year.

Amsterdam To Ban Tourist Cannabis Sales

We’ve all been there. Ok, maybe not ‘everyone’, but space cakes have been a right of passage for many curious travelers throughout the years, while enjoying the absolutely ‘chill’ vibe of Amsterdam’s coffee shop scene. In fact, Amsterdam believes 58% of all visitors partake. Coffee and Cannabis, who knew?

Like recent curbs on ‘Red Light District’ access aimed to clean up the vibe of the city, and the type of tourist it attracts, Amsterdam’s city officials plans to limit the sale of cannabis products in coffee shops to locals only, with a phased action beginning next year.

a bicycle on a bridge over a canal

Without question, one side effect of the global health situation is that travel is becoming classist again. The demise of low cost airlines — like Norwegian’s long haul operations this past week — and fresh limits on Airbnb mean travel will become more expensive in many ways, and in other ways, countries will look to dissuade tourism which doesn’t bring positive local impacts.

Like it or not, stoner tourism in Amsterdam is typically associated with the least beneficial spend to the city, where many guests stay in hostels rather than hotels, and despite the munchies don’t run up meaningful restaurant tabs or buy goods.

With the proposals, Amsterdam wants to encourage visitors who will visit the Van Gogh Museum, take a stroll, buy a third wave coffee and pastry, do some boutique shopping, some boutique eating, and then call it a day in an officially sanctioned hotel, where overnight accommodation taxes benefit local projects.

The proposals, which seem to have widespread government support, and popular vote in Amsterdam would mean that only Netherlands residents would be allowed to buy up to 5 grams of cannabis products, the defined legal limit. Ban on the sale of these products have been in place across most of the Netherlands for years.

Basically, the city is pretty over groups of bachelor and bachelorette parties getting insanely drunk, incredibly high and giggling in the windows of the peep shows of the Red Light District. From a local perspective, that’s probably fair enough.

If the proposals become law, as they’re widely expected to, you’ll need to find another city to put your headphones in and blast the Chronic 2001, come 2022.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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